Should Liverpool Sign Guingamp Goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentAugust 26, 2014

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 24:  Mamadou Samassa of Ghana during the 2013 African Cup of Nations match between Mali and Ghana at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on January 24, 2013 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  (Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Should Liverpool sign Guingamp goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa to challenge Simon Mignolet for the Reds' No. 1 position? 

To cover the hypothetical scenario of Liverpool targeting Samassa, here is a scouting report on the 24-year-old, 6'6", 194-pound, French-born-Malian international.


Samassa Positives

When you watch Samassa, you will notice his size and impressive physical tangibles. 

He is tall, he lean, he possesses long arms, his gloves are enormous and he moves fluidly.

With such a physical presence, he commands his box and readily deals with set-pieces. 

Using his wingspan, Samassa tipped the shot of Lens right-forward Adamo Coulibaly onto the post.

Showing lateral speed, Samassa darted across goal to rebuff Toulouse right wing-back Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro's shot.

The awareness in reading play, the agility to re-position and then the technique to pull off a difficult save demonstrates Samassa's ability as a top-flight goalkeeper. 

Sweeping up play, Samassa denied then-Lorient (now Porto) centre-forward Vincent Aboubakar in a one-on-one situation. 

Aboubakar was one of the best centre-forwards in France last season scoring 15 goals in Ligue 1, therefore it shows Samassa coming up big against a quality No. 9.

Marseille centre-forward Andre-Pierre Gignac's blistering shot was punched over the crossbar by an alert Samassa.

Samassa denied Dynamo Kyiv's Evian Thonon Gaillard loanee Marco Ruben with a diving save. 

Positioned perfectly, Samassa cleanly caught the free-kick of Roma's Ajaccio loanee Gadji Tallo.

Samassa's saves, saves per goal conceded, punches and catches per 90 minutes were superior to Mignolet last season, according to Squawka


Mignolet is Liverpool's No. 1, so it is a big red flag that he is being outperformed by Samassa, who plays for unfancied Guingamp.

Liverpool legend Bruce Grobbelaar constructively criticised Mignolet.

"Mignolet is a good shot-stopper, but by no means the best all-round keeper," Grobbelaar said, per the Daily Mirror. "Another point is his positioning on free-kicks. His starting position is not right. The team and the defence is too far back for the keeper. They're on top of him. He's not commanding enough."


Samassa Negatives

Having only played 22 Ligue 1 games, Samassa lacks experience. 

His mistakes in limited minutes are a concern. 

Samassa's fumble provided a simple tap-in for Paris Saint-Germain central midfielder Adrien Rabiot. 

A defensive mix-up with Guingamp centre-back Jeremy Sorbon led to PSG centre-forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring.

Samassa was easily rounded by Saint-Etienne centre-forward Mevlut Erding.


Bottom Line

Liverpool need a top-flight backup goalkeeper to Mignolet.

One possible transfer target is Samassa who is an upgrade over Liverpool's current No. 2 Brad Jones.

Samassa is regularly playing football whereas Jones' development has stagnated warming the benches.

Being physically more impressive (6'6", 194 pounds) than Jones (6'3", 168 pounds) is another advantage to Samassa.

In addition, Samassa is eight years younger, so he has a substantially higher upside than Jones.

Before you say: "Samassa plays for Guingamp, so he does not have the CV to play for Liverpool."

Firstly, Guingamp are the reigning Coupe de France champions.

1991:  Portrait of Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar during a match. \ Mandatory Credit: Ben  Radford/Allsport
Ben Radford/Getty Images

Secondly, Guingamp play at a higher level than the Vancouver Whitecaps, which was the team Liverpool signed Grobbelaar from.

Grobbelaar went on to play 628 games for Liverpool.

Given Samassa's physique (6'6", 194 pounds), his upside (only 24 years old) and him being relatively obscure (low transfer fee), it is an ideal situation for Liverpool to sign him.



Statistics via WhoScored