Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has had a somewhat tumultuous year with the Merseyside club, but his future simply cannot lie anywhere other than with the Reds.
An error-riddled opening half to the year saw Brad Jones receive plenty of game time, which then, in turn, saw Reina's name floated around in every possible transfer speculation possible—especially the link which saw him as as a viable option for Barcelona.
Those suggestions were emphatically denied by the goalkeeper at the time (per Sky Sports)—telling Marca reporters that his future remains at Anfield:
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has reiterated he will not be rejoining Barcelona in the summer. Reina continues to be linked with a return to his boyhood club after current keeper Victor Valdes announced last month that he would not be signing a new contract, with his deal set to expire in 2014.
The Spaniard dismissed reports he could return to Camp Nou earlier this month and he has reiterated his stance. Reina, who has been at Liverpool since 2005, told Radio Marca: "Any talk of me joining Barca is just speculation. I've got a contract at Liverpool and I'm very happy here..."
That denial came around two weeks ago as Liverpool sought to challenge once more for a top four spot, and whilst that might seem unattainable for the Reds now, Reina's comments to stick with the Merseyside club have turned out to be a very wise decision indeed.
The very notion to play on at Liverpool is smart from the veteran, and he'll likely gain great confidence and momentum from keeping on at the club.
His last showing against Wigan Athletic in a 4-0 win showed just how good he can be when on his game, and you get the feeling that staying with Liverpool will only help that. Especially as the Reds seek to build once more for the future in the English Premier League.
The arrivals of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho (plus whoever they sign over the summer transfer window) has Liverpool primed for a big year in 2013. They will be better than what they are now, and they will be more consistent performers in the league—and the results should come as a result of that consistency and efficiency.
For Reina to remain on and keep the same backline intact for next year is a huge boost for the Reds and one that he will no doubt gain great confidence from.
His strong hands on crosses and the like make his game better suited to the English competition than that of Barcelona, and with a place at Anfield calling him right now, there was little sense in the veteran shot-stopper making a move to the Camp Nou.
Especially when those at Anfield still call him "world-class".
Making a move would make little sense at all, and Reina made a very wise and astute decision to keep his future at the Merseyside club for another year.
Particularly if the Reds truly get going in 2013.
Should Pepe Reina have committed to staying at Liverpool?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: Follow @dantalintyre