With Guillermo Ochoa’s World Cup performances fuelling speculation of a potential move to the Premier League, fellow goalkeeper Brad Friedel isn’t sure the Mexican will be a guaranteed success.
A free agent this summer, after his contract with French side Ajaccio expired, Ochoa’s impressive form during Mexico’s run to the last 16 has seen him linked to a host of major European clubs, but Friedel’s assessment when asked of the shot-stopper's top-flight credentials was more reserved than most.
‘I'm not sure. The Premier League is not for every goalkeeper,’ he stressed. ‘Every goalkeeper that comes to the Premier League has to get used to the physicality of it.
‘I think he is a wonderful shot-stopper, very quick, but you never know how a goalkeeper would deal with the physical nature of the Premier League until they are there.’
Boasting 63 caps since making his international debut in 2005, aged 20, Ochoa has had to battle for the Mexico number one jersey over the years, having gone to the 2006 World Cup as third-choice and to South Africa 2010 as the back-up to veteran Oscar Perez.
One of the side’s most popular players, the 28-year-old controversially tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, along with four other members of the squad, before ultimately being acquitted by the Mexican Football Federation.
Moving from América to Ligue 1 minnows Ajaccio that summer, Ochoa has experienced an up-and-down three seasons in Europe but, with his undoubted potential shining through on the world’s biggest stage, possible suitors are sure to be lining up.
Liverpool are the club who have been most strongly linked with the former Liga MX star since the start of the tournament but they reportedly face stiff competition from the likes of rivals Arsenal and Atletico Madrid for his signature.
With Friedel’s experience of 450 Premier League starts, the Tottenham veteran’s advice should certainly be heeded but it will still likely do nothing to deter interest in Ochoa, after helping Mexico come so close to upsets over both Brazil and the Netherlands in recent weeks.