Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants to sign goalkeeper Michel Vorm (Swansea City) as a backup to Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), per the South Wales Evening Post, but would Antonio Mirante (Parma) be a better choice? To cover that hypothetical, here is a scouting report on the 30-year-old Italian footballer.
Rodgers' track record in the transfer market is erratic, but he hit a home run when he and Swansea management agreed to buy Vorm from Utrecht for £1.5 million in 2011.
Rodgers made sure the footballing world knew about his transfer smarts when Vorm was in career-best form during the 2011-12 season.
"People will tell you that a good goalkeeper will get you up to 10-plus points and everyone knows we have a top keeper," Rodgers said, per WalesOnline. "It was a great bit of business for us, it's a steal."
During that run, Vorm's head-scratching error against Arsenal forecasted a problem down the track—costly mistakes.
"It was not my first mistake," Vorm said, per Stuart James at The Observer. "It won't be my last."
This season, Vorm mistimed a tackle on Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City), resulting in a red card.
Then there was a shambolic performance in Swansea's 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.
Throughout the campaign, Vorm did not command his box with authority and seemed static at times, and there are still lingering questions over the stability of his knee after surgery.
Vorm is a ball-playing keeper who completed 65.7 percent of his passes in league play and 88.9 in the UEFA Europa League, therefore his ability to play out from the back suits Rodgers.
However, Adrian (West Ham United) and David Marshall (Cardiff City) were subjectively better keepers than Vorm this season.
You wonder if Rodgers' bias for his former player is clouting his judgement.
If Liverpool are unsuccessful in their pursuit of Vorm and Pepe Reina (Liverpool; Napoli loanee) leaves the Reds permanently, Mirante is an attainable alternative.
|Weight||192 lbs||174 lbs||203 lbs||190 lbs|
Mirante is rangy, possesses length and has the prototypical height expected of a top-flight keeper.
Rodgers prefers keepers who regularly come out on top in penalties, a la Mignolet and Vorm.
"When I spoke to his [Vorm's] agent and Dutch people who knew of him [Vorm], they said he was a top penalty saver," Rodgers said, per Graham Clutton at The Telegraph. "They said he will nick you points."
Mirante is not just a penalty-saving expert, he is comfortable on the ball—an aspect Vorm stressed was vital in a Rodgers-type keeper.
"I know what football is like under Brendan Rodgers," Vorm said, per the Daily Mail, "and he wants the goalkeeper to be another defender."
If anything, Mirante is overconfident when in possession.
Mirante is at his worst when he charges out trying to act as a quasi-sweeper.
Mirante was left scrambling when Fernando Llorente (Juventus) went on a run.
A shimmy from Keita Balde Diao (Lazio) left Mirante on his backside.
|Saves Per Game||2.8||2.7||3.6||2.5|
|Saves Per Goal Conceded||2.2||2.2||3.7||2|
|Sources: Fox Soccer/PremierLeague.com.|
Reina bottomed out at Liverpool last season, hence being shipped out on loan to Napoli.
Granted, while he flashed remnants of the bad Reina, he made a plethora of highlight-reel saves in Serie A.
Napoli management are striving to extend his loan into a permanent deal.
"We are interested to hold him [Reina] here," Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon said, per +N tv (h/t Simone Bargellini at Sky Sports). "He has a very close relationship with the coach [Rafa Benitez; former Liverpool manager]."
This leaves Mirante and Vorm as possible candidates to usurp Brad Jones (Liverpool) as Mignolet's backup.
Mirante is subjectively and statistically superior to Vorm, so the Italian should be a viable alternative.
Statistics via WhoScored.com