Arguably Liverpool’s biggest transfer battle this year

Liverpool Goalkeeper Pepe reinaWith the error in judgement Jose Reina made last night against Wigan costing Liverpool a fifth straight victory, this may seem a fairly inappropriate time to say this; but the Anfield outfit cannot afford to let the 28 year-old Spaniard leave. It has been suggested in recent weeks that although Reina is not for sale in the January transfer window, he may be allowed to leave the club in the summer if he is unhappy with life at Anfield, with both Manchester United and Arsenal seeming very interested in the goalkeeper. With Reina himself reportedly unwilling to commit himself to Liverpool beyond the end of the season;

‘I will stay at Liverpool at least until the end of the season… I know there are rumours about me leaving but I want to make it clear that I have no intention of going back to Spain… Rafael Benitez was an essential person for this club and the reason I came to Liverpool.’

And Roy Hodgson reluctant to refute rumours regarding the Spanish goalkeeper’s exit, it seems it may be quite possible that Reina could walk out of Anfield in the summer. Allowing this to happen would be a complete disaster for the club in several ways;

First, Reina is a world-class goalkeeper, and barring the notable mistake against Arsenal on the opening weekend of the season, the 28 year-old has been magnificent for the Anfield outfit during his 5 years at the club. Winning the coveted ‘Premier League Golden Glove’, for the most clean sheets in a season in 3 of his 5 seasons at the club, and, in fact, keeping as many clean sheets as Petr Cech last season, missing out on the award purely on a clean sheet to games played ratio.

Second, there is a genuine paucity of world-class keepers at the moment, and if Liverpool have one, they would do well to keep hold of him. After a dismal start to the season both on and off the pitch, the club are on the up, and through the retention of the services of Reina, the club can push on, on both the domestic front and in Europe, and with their new investors, they should be looking to hang on to their prize assets. Along with Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, Reina is one of them. Letting the 28 year-old go would mean looking for a new, quality goalkeeper, and the ones that aren’t already tied down to big clubs are sparse in number to say the least.

Third, with Reina’s explicit wish not to return to Spain, it must surely signal either a move to Italy, or remaining where he is settled, in England. Behind every title winning side there is, generally, a great goalkeeper, and it can be argued that one of the only things missing at Arsenal is precisely that. Selling Reina to either Manchester United or Arsenal would give an enormous boost to potential rivals not only for the European places, but eventually also the title.

Reina is a top goalkeeper and has been an excellent servant of Liverpool FC. To allow him to walk out the door would lack foresight and could be detrimental to the club for years to come in more ways than one.

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