Liverpool are reportedly set to wisely sign veteran former FC Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who is free of any transfer window restrictions. That's according to Catalan newspaper Sport (h/t 101 Great Goals):
Tomorrow’s edition fo Barcelona-based daily Sport claims that free agent Victor Valdes has it ‘all done’ with Liverpool.
As a free agent Valdes isn’t subject to the transfer deadline, so there’s no great stress for Liverpool to rush the deal through, though it looks to be complete, Sport claiming negotiations ran throughout Monday.
Manager Brendan Rodgers recently stated that one more new arrival was likely at the club, per Daily Star reporter Rhys Turrell:
Players will mostly be going out rather than coming in.
Maybe one more will come in. A few boys have been told they aren't going to get much game time so they have been given that respect early on to help themselves find a club.
A move for Valdes is an excellent potential deal by Liverpool. It can give the team significant extra quality at a key position.
Valdes is a highly decorated and long-standing, top-level performer. He was an underrated member of the dominant Barca teams better known for Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta.
Often overlooked amidst the plethora of outfield stars in Barca's ranks, Valdes barely let the team down at the back. You don't collect three UEFA Champions League trophies simply by being a passenger. When called upon, Valdes made important saves.
He's more of an agile shot-stopper rather than a keeper who commands his box with power. In that sense, it would be interesting to see how the 32-year-old might cope with the rugged physicality of England's Premier League.
It's a place where goalkeepers are bombarded with set pieces more often than in Spain's La Liga. Players do more to pressure keepers, jostling and bullying them on the line.
Valdes doesn't have a great deal of exposure to that sort of thing. In fact, he hasn't had a great deal of first-team football recently at all.
Valdes hasn't played since injuring his knee and undergoing subsequent surgery back in late March, per The Guardian. He'll have to build his fitness up.
That's going to be a process that could take a while, per Ian Herbert of The Independent, who still noted how even a recuperating Valdes improves the Liverpool squad:
His arrival depends on how he recovers from a cruciate ligament injury he suffered in March. But if all goes well with that, he will become a part of the Liverpool squad next month, providing cover for Rodgers’ first choice in goal, Simon Mignolet. Australian Brad Jones is not currently pushing the Belgian.
The Spaniard is already certainly an upgrade on current Anfield deputy Jones. It will be interesting to see if Valdes pushes for an even bigger role, once he's fully fit.
The report from 101 Great Goals featured speculation that Valdes might even supplant Simon Mignolet as Rodgers' first choice.
Will Valdes take over the No. 1 spot from Mignolet?
The Belgian is a solid stopper with plenty of Premier League experience. Although he made some gaffes last season, Mignolet certainly won't let go of his job without a strong fight.
However, he can't come close to the pedigree Valdes offers. Valdes' wealth of experience at the top levels of the game could prove invaluable to a club re-entering the UEFA Champions League.
The Reds were very active during the summer window. The Merseyside club welcomed a host of new faces including Mario Balotelli, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic and Emre Can.
But it's Valdes who might be the shrewdest signing for Liverpool. Amid the mountain of purchases made by Rodgers this summer, a freebie deal for for such an accomplished 'keeper could eventually prove to be his best.