TALK is cheap when it comes to transfers, but this week we have been linked to two new goalkeepers; Asmir Begovic and Simon Mignolet. Aged 26 and 25 respectively, the two stoppers have been linked with us this weekend following the continuing rumours surrounding Pepe Reina.
The Spaniard, who has just completed his sixth season with Liverpool, has long been linked with a move back the club where it all started for him this summer as a replacement for long standing number one Victor Valdes.
However, the Barcelona custodian has announced his intention to stay on until his contract expires next summer.
So who would we look to bring in? Begovic or Mignolet?
As a fully paid up member of the goalkeeper’s union I am pretty pleased with both of the links. If I could pick one replacement for Reina it would be Ter Stergen from Borussia Monchengladbach but he seemingly is not on the radar.
One immediate advantage of the two we’ve been linked with is that they are already acclimatised with the Premier League. One only needs to look at the example of David De Gea to see how the extra physical nature of the Premier League can screw up even the most talented and confident of goalkeepers. However, Mignolet and Begovic are already used to the hustle and bustle of a Premier League corner. Begovic in particular will have seen such tactics employed by his own team on a very regular basis!
Of the two, I personally think Begovic is the better goalkeeper. He makes mistakes, as all keepers do, but is usually rock solid. I think Mignolet is very talented and is probably a better shot stopper. But I feel that he has concentration issues, he is prone to needless and silly errors. He does though have the raw talent to become one of the best goalkeepers in the league.
Ultimately, they are both going to be playing behind a better defence than what they have been doing and will have less to do. Choosing between them would be tough and it would not be an easy task for Brendan Rodgers and his transfer committee. Neither represent significant value for money. Begovic in particular has been quoted in the press as £15m and Mignolet £12m.
Reina has this week cooled the Barcelona rumours (convenient timing!) and at a guess I’d say that he’s going to be going nowhere right now. To be honest, that would be the best option we could make. To retain Reina.
His form has improved and his distribution is generally excellent. I think he needs some back up to keep him sharp, but ultimately, can we bring in a better goalkeeper than Reina?
I’d argue that not right now, no. So let’s hope Reina’s reign continues and at the moment that looks like it’s going to happen. It’s one less part of the spine of the team that we need to replace, and that would have been a pressing concern but one that looks like it’s about to subside for now.
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