Pepe Reina has had his troubles this season, but he showed at the weekend just how brilliant he can be.
Pepe Reina has had quite a season which has seen him tipped with a move away from Anfield and back to Spain, to producing some of his best performances in goal for Liverpool in recent weeks.
There is no doubt that at the moment his all round game is definitely right up there at a similar level to David De Gea of Manchester United and Hugo Lloris of Spurs, maybe it’s even better.
His performance against Wigan Athletic last weekend was the sort of display that he showed three or four years ago when he possibly had his best spell of form in a Liverpool jersey.
His command of the penalty area has always been a very strong area of his game but it was a combination of everything, which made him so impressive against Wigan; saves, distribution, leadership and skill.
His ability to maintain his concentration for such long periods of time is also admirable. It can be very easy for ‘keepers to switch off, especially when they are in a side that dominates possession as Liverpool frequently do.
The main reason Liverpool should resist any temptation to sell him this summer is because he’s still capable of the odd world class performance, which reminds Liverpool fans of why the club bought him in the first place.
It’s all about consistency- and he has to get back to producing these on a regular basis, and Liverpool could well have to work very hard to keep him this summer, it's a double edged sword as if his performances keep strong before the end of the season he is likely to attract offers in the transfer window.
If the club does let him go then they will have a monster of a challenge to try and replace him, as he has a combination of all the skills needed to be a truly great goalkeeper.
He is prone to the odd mistake but then all goalkeepers are exactly the same, their mistakes just get magnified because they quite often lead to goals and can’t be covered up.
Liverpool, and Brendan Rodgers in particular, need to make sure that he’s given the best possible chance to maintain that world class level of performance which is crucial if the club is going to push on over the next few seasons until he retires.
If a club does come in this summer then unless Reina specifically states that he wants to go, Liverpool should make it impossible for any club to sign him and be as difficult as possible in any negotiation period.
Liverpool fans, are you happy with your number one?
image: © froderamone