Brendan Rodgers has revealed he doesn’t expect Pepe Reina to leave the club and they mustn’t ever let him.
The goalkeeper is arguably the most important player in any side. He sets the tone through the defence, which ripples through to the attack and he’s also got the best seat in the house when it comes to watching play unfold.
Pepe Reina has been tipped with a few big moves away from Anfield this summer and if the rumours are true, then Liverpool must try literally everything to keep him happy, committed and to ensure he finishes his career at the club.
There are few goalkeepers more effective at the moment when it comes to commanding a back four, which guarantees that Liverpool will always have the best possible chance of enduring long spells of pressure from an opposition.
One of the main qualities that any goalkeeper needs in English football is the ability to be loud and to generally be a coach on the pitch, in the respect that he tells the defenders what to do.
Liverpool will also not find another goalkeeper as commanding inside his own penalty area. Reina has been accused of being a bit over enthusiastic at times but he’s just sticking up for his space.
One of the criticisms of David De Gea at Manchester United this season is that he’s not commanding inside his own box, he doesn’t come out, collect the ball and punch dominantly.
Reina is the exact opposite and although it’s an area he has been criticised in the past, that won’t matter to him one little bit because it just goes back to the point about protecting his defence and taking the pressure off of the team.
Liverpool could sell him to Barcelona or even let him go to a Premier League rival but the cash they would receive, would not be enough to replace his consistency and experience in the English game.
He knows every rick in the book that Premier League attackers and defenders use in the opponent’s final third to try and put off the goalkeeper or prevent him from coming out to catch the ball.
Reina’s distribution this season has been as good as ever which is doubly significant considering the direction that Rodgers seems to be taking the side in.
He seems to want Liverpool to be a heavily passing based team, which has been very evident this season; the first half of the game against Manchester United at Anfield saw Liverpool produce some of the best football in the league this season.
The point is that Reina is good enough to set up attacking movements and momentum from inside his own goal. He’s as confident and assured on the ball as any of the team’s midfield players which means he can pass it out and also provide an outlet for under pressure defenders.
If Liverpool ever let him leave then it can be classed as one of the worst bits of business that the club has ever done and that includes buying Andy Carroll for £35 million.
Do you think Reina will ever leave?
image: © froderamone