According to Spanish journalist Guillem Balague, Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has decided to stay at Anfield. There was a fear prevalent amongst Liverpool fans that their number one would seek a move to a club that offered him Champion’s League football this summer, but Balague’s comments should put a stop to the worry. Balague has close Liverpool ties, having wrote a book called A Season on the Brink: Rafael Benitez, Liverpool and the Path to European Glory back in 2005 and is thought to have maintained a close relationship with Rafa.
He took to his Twitter recently to announce that Pepe Reina has decided to remain a Liverpool player for the foreseeable future because he “believes in the project” and the transformation that Kenny Dalglish is engineering at Anfield. Given his Liverpool ties, his comments have a certain degree of plausibility. In fact, Balague was the man who broke the news that Fernando Torres would be leaving Liverpool.
Balague’s comments followed a commitment from the man himself, Pepe Reina, who recently declared himself very happy at Liverpool. The Spanish stopper told radio station Cadena Cope:
“I am happy, calm and comfortable here. I am looking towards the future which I reckon will bring a lot of happiness and hopefully the new project with the new American owners will be a convincing one. Obviously Benítez brought me here but that doesn’t mean that I’m unhappy with Dalglish, quite the opposite. I think he’s the ideal man for Liverpool at this moment.”
Whilst this isn’t as deliberate or unequivocal as him coming out and saying ‘I’m pledging my future to Liverpool’, the signs are very positive. Reina understands that progress is being made at Anfield and for all intents and purposes, he wants to be a part of it.
If Pepe Reina does stay, as it seems he will, it will represent a huge coup for Liverpool. The importance of having a world-class goalkeeper in the Premier League simply cannot be under-estimated and it’s clear that Reina is one of the best keepers currently plying his trade in England. He’s up there with Manchester City’s Joe Hart and Manchester United’s Edwin van der Sar and Liverpool simply can’t afford to lose him.
If he were to go, Liverpool would have to begin a search for a new world-class keeper, which is a challenge that is beginning to look more and more difficult by the day. When you see price-tags of around £20m affixed to the likes of Schalke’s Manuel Neuer and Atletico Madrid’s David De Gea, you can’t help but feel a little disheartened.
Pepe Reina’s remaining a Liverpool player will save the club both a great deal of cash and a great deal of bother. It seems to me that Liverpool’s toughest transfer battle has already been won.
Read more of Harry’s articles at This is Futbol