Manager Brendan Rodgers recently spoke out via Goal.com regarding the Spaniard, and stated in no uncertain terms that the shot-stopper would be staying on at Merseyside this summer due to the fact that he is a key part of the Reds' team, as well as still being contractually bound to the club.
It's that silly season now that starts up all the rumours and whatnot, but Pepe [Reina]'s not for sale. He's got three years left on his contract here, he's happy and obviously there's speculation but it's not worth commenting on...
It's great news for the Reds as they look to the 2013-14 Premier League season.
Despite some early struggles at the start of the year, Reina has started to establish himself as a real presence in the Reds' goal. In just 29 appearances, the Spaniard has chalked up 13 clean sheets—the third most in the league behind Joe Hart and Petr Cech, who have both played in significantly more matches than the Liverpool goalkeeper has this season.
The table below highlights Reina compared to the EPL's other top goalkeepers ( Statistics via The Score).
|Pepe Reina, Liverpool||29||33||13||9.59||8.42|
|Joe Hart, Manchester City||36||31||17||9.0||10.45|
|David De Gea, Manchester United||27||25||11||11.11||12.00|
|Petr Cech, Chelsea||35||35||14||10.77||10.77|
|Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal||23||23||9||9.43||9.43|
*** Note: G (games), GA (goals against), CS (clean sheets), SA (shots against, per game), SPG (shots per goal). Does not include English Premier League Week 37.
It's also worth noting that Reina has conceded more goals from penalties (four) than any other goalkeeper on that list (Szczesny, two). If we take out those four goals from his goals against, his numbers would be significantly higher in terms of shots per goal and clean sheets as well.
Yet as much as Reina has proven himself in goal, the reality is that he is still under contract at the Reds, as Rodgers highlights above in his statement.
And for that alone, the transfer talk about his departure is simply madness.
He is under contract until the summer of 2016. At just 30 years of age, he still has plenty to give to the Merseyside club and plenty of time to prove himself to be their No. 1 shot-stopper.
Australian Brad Jones hasn't done a great deal to try and usurp the position, but the option has been there if Rodgers deems Reina is out of form.
But for the near future, Reina is the best goalkeeper Liverpool have, and he's capable of mixing it with the best in the league.
He has a strong defense ahead of him and has plenty of time to continue to show the Reds what he can do at the back. Reina's done just that in his last five games, as well as several other points throughout the season—something Liverpool will be hoping he can continue to reproduce in the future.
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