Liverpool

Why Liverpool Don't Need Barcelona Goalkeeper Victor Valdes

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 11: Victor Valdes of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona  at Vicente Calderon Stadium on January 11, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Max MuntonLiverpool CorrespondentFebruary 26, 2014

This week's transfer reports linking Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes with a summer move to Liverpool must be dismissed as pure transfer speculation.

Charles Perrin of the Daily Express was amongst a number of English journalists to report that Spanish daily Sport believe "Liverpool submitted a fresh proposal to Valdes, though it is unclear about the nature of the terms being offered."

Naturally, the end to Valdes' 12 years at the Nou Camp is going to attract a lot of attention and perhaps trigger a goalkeeping domino effect across Europe.

At one point, it was widely suggested that Liverpool's own Pepe Reina would be Valdes' successor, via Simon Rice of The Independent, but after a difficult season at Napoli for Reina, it looks as if Barcelona's attentions have been turned to Borussia Monchengladbach's Marc-Andre ter Stegen, via AS (h/t B/R's Patrick Clarke).

 

First Choice

Clint Hughes/Associated Press

Liverpool signing Valdes doesn't make sense for several reasons, not least the fact that the Reds already have their first-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for years to come.

In Mignolet, Liverpool have a supremely talented goalkeeper, who, at the age of just 25 years old, has many years ahead of him to improve into one of the best shot-stoppers in the world.

His first season has been excellent, and as with most goalkeepers, after some settling-down time, he has the ability to go and command Liverpool's defence for a long time to come.

 

Back-Up

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 14:  Brad Jones of Liverpool (R) celebrates with fellow goalkeeper Pepe Reina after the FA Cup with Budweiser Semi Final match between Liverpool and Everton at Wembley Stadium on April 14, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

There is a good argument for Liverpool needing a new second-choice goalkeeper though, with 31-year-old Brad Jones looking uncomfortable at best in his brief FA Cup appearances for the Reds this season.

If anything were to happen to Mignolet, Jones doesn't strike the average Liverpool fan with too much confidence, and with Liverpool's defensive frailties common knowledge, the leaking of goals would be even harder to plug.

But finding a decent back-up goalkeeper, without paying extensively high wages to a player who sits on the bench for nine-tenths of the season, is difficult.

The solution is not Valdes, who brings that very baggage with him. Brendan Rodgers would not have shipped Reina off to Napoli for the season if he believed there was scope to keep a senior, expensive goalkeeper on the club's books.

Instead, Rodgers need a promising young goalkeeper who can learn and be mentored by Mignolet as his own Liverpool career flourishes.

 

The Wrong Man

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18:   Victor Valdes of Barcelona makes a save during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Manchester City and Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium on February 18, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by L
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Even at 32 years old, Valdes can play a vital first-team role for many clubs across Europe. He is an excellent talent with a wealth of experience, having won 11 accolades at the Nou Camp.

He has only been denied impenetrable success at the international level by a succession of world-class Spanish goalkeepers.

Carrying his high wages with him and a yearning to play first-team football, Valdes isn't the right man for Liverpool, just as Liverpool isn't the right club for him.

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