On This Day - 2014 - Pepe Reina leaves Liverpool on a permanent basis

Liverpool's Jose Reina during the game

A popular figure, but his departure could have been handled differently.

Reina saves Robben's penalty in 2007 Champions League semi-final shoot-outReina saves Robben's penalty in 2007 Champions League semi-final shoot-out

Pepe Reina was a very popular character at Liverpool, both seemingly with his teammates in the dressing room and with the Reds' supporters.

In many ways, it was sad how things ended for the Spaniard on Merseyside; as they did on this day in 2014 when Reina was sold to Bayern Munich following a season-long loan with Serie A side Napoli.

Simon Mignolet was bought a summer earlier by Brendan Rodgers from Sunderland and it was apparent that he would be the number one goalkeeper. One season of looking at Reina, and links away from the club meant the Ulsterman did not really fancy the Spaniard to be his man between the posts.

Liverpool's Simon MignoletLiverpool's Simon Mignolet

Upon Mignolet's signing, Reina welcomed the competition, with Sky Sports reporting him saying: "Every team needs competitors, and when it's positive it is more than welcome. If it is finally done I'll welcome him a lot, and anything he needs, I'm here."

Only he wasn't. The man who gained popularity for being a serial winner of the Premier League's Golden Gloves and earned a reputation for his heroics in penalty shoot-outs was being ousted. He would return the following summer but would not kick or punch a ball in anger on their tour of the United States. It is something that many found baffling, but a goodbye letter that Reina had written to the fans is something that Rodgers appeared to not take too well.

Rodgers stated back in February 2014, as reported by Eurosport: "I was surprised at the letter when you are a loan player so I would suspect that he should come back.

"But Pepe made it very clear when he went to Napoli he was looking to move, as he penned a great big letter saying he was going to work with the best manager that he’d worked with and thanked for his time for Liverpool. So for me it probably sounded like he’d made his decision there."

Liverpool's Jose Reina during the game

It feels as though it was one that needed to be handled by all parties, but even after the departure of both individuals from Liverpool, the club are still living with those judgments today.

Mignolet will start the season in goal but indications are that Rodgers' faith was misplaced by Jurgen Klopp's decision to sign Loris Karius, who broke his hand in a pre-season game against Chelsea. There was always going to be a day when Reina was leaving Liverpool, and even after his loan spell it felt too early and handled poorly.

Bayern would not prove to be the right move for him as he acted as cover for Manuel Neuer, with the Spaniard eventually making a permanent switch to Napoli the following summer.

Picture Supplied by Action Images

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