Pepe Reina Is Right Man to Get Barcelona Back Atop Europe

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Pepe Reina Is Right Man to Get Barcelona Back Atop Europe
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Pepe Reina is the right man to take over from Victor Valdes.

With the addition of Neymar, Barcelona seems to have every part in place to become the best team in Europe once again.

But something is still not right.

Victor Valdes is Barcelona's goalkeeper. Fortunately, he will most likely be leaving this summer. 

Valdes has become the weakest spot in an otherwise formidable squad due to lackluster performance. 

The Barcelona front office obviously knows that, in order to move forward, the team needs a goalkeeper who is solid and dependable—unlike Valdes.

The player deemed to be Valdes's replacement is Liverpool's Pepe Reina. He is the right man to take the reins. 

Reina is one of the best goalkeepers in the Barclays Premier League and for Spain. Unfortunately for him, he plays in the same era as Real Madrid and Spanish legend, Iker Casillas. Casillas commands all the attention, but Reina is not to be ignored.

Since Casillas saw limited playing time throughout the 2012-13 season, let's compare the two players' numbers during the 2011-12 season. Casillas recorded 131 saves while Reina had 130. However, Casillas played in 67 matches while Reina only saw the pitch in 50. 

The Liverpool man was able to have just as many saves as Casillas while playing 17 matches fewer. Numbers do not lie. Reina is just as good as the almighty Iker Casillas.

A future El Clasico match could prove to be the battle of the goalies.

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Matching Reina up against Valdes the same season isn't really much of a competition. Valdes had 94 saves in 55 matches. He is clearly not in the same category as his fellow Spanish goalkeepers.

What Valdes has lacked the most over the years is consistency. His poor decision-making has also been a cause for concern, but with Reina this should not be an issue.

Not only is Reina consistent, but he rarely makes egregious errors. Aside from being excellent at stopping penalty kick conversions, Reina also has the ability to quick start a counterattack. This will work perfectly for the Barcelona players, especially Lionel Messi and now Neymar.

Losing to Bayern Munich 0-7 on aggregate is unacceptable, especially if the team is Barcelona. The offensive powers are in place, but the back still has work to be done.

Reina is the right man for the job. He can get this team back on track for European glory. Of all the goalkeepers at the team's disposal, they cannot go wrong by choosing him.

He will make a seamless transition at the Nou Camp because he is a product of the Barcelona youth system. Reina was with the team from 1988-2002.

Barca was the first to gave him a taste of first-team action when he took the field for them in the 2001-02 season.

The team's senior squad is filled with Spaniards, most of whom Reina has played with. It will not be a problem for him to adjust to his new teammates. 

He speaks the language, he grew up in Barcelona. He's Spanish. There isn't another goalkeeper who will come in and make an easier transition.

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