Liverpool are ready to sign free agent Victor Valdes, and while he may be viewed as a burden, Reds fans should give the former Barcelona goalkeeper a chance.
Pending the completion of a successful medical, Valdes will be a Liverpool player, per Guillem Balague at Bleacher Report.
Playing freely is imperative to Valdes having a healthy mindset.
"I've perfected the methodology over the years: convincing yourself your reputation is not always on the line," Valdes said, per Sid Lowe at The Guardian. "This isn't a constant exam where you're at the mercy of others."
When Valdes announced last year he would run down his expiring contract at Barca, he was in the power position to sign with any club in the world.
- No transfer fee.
- One of the best CVs you will ever see: six-time La Liga winner and won three UEFA Champions League titles.
Then Valdes' body broke down like Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return at the box office.
- November 20, 2013, per Barca's official website: "Tests confirm that Victor Valdes sustained a proximal myotendinous rupture in the calf muscle of his right leg. The keeper will be out of action for approximately six weeks."
- March 31, 2014, per Barca's official website: "[Valdes] has been operated on by doctors Ulrich Boenisch and Ricard Pruna in Augsburg (Germany) for the anterior cruciate ligament tear he suffered last week."
- July 4, 2014, per Dermot Corrigan at ESPN FC: "After a new medical examination was carried out [on Valdes] this week, Monaco have decided they no longer wished to go through with the deal."
If Valdes arrives at Liverpool, he will be thankful he has a contract at a major team.
He just needs to prove his fitness.
The pressure Mignolet is under resembles the fickleness and overly negative criticism Valdes received at Barca.
Yes, several of Valdes' mistakes over his career have been as bizarre as Gary Busey's views on life.
However, you need to be fair to Valdes.
In the last two seasons, he has made a deluge of clutch saves.
Up until last December, he saved 84 percent of shots in La Liga, per Barca's official website.
Valdes' double-save against Valencia was world-class.
As Real Madrid left-forward Cristiano Ronaldo sliced open Barca's defence, Valdes was in perfect position to block the shot.
Valdes palmed away the header from Atletico Madrid's Rayo Vallecano loanee Saul Niguez.
Malaga left-back Vitorino Antunes' free-kick was comfortably saved by Valdes.
The catchword is "positioning," and it is the reason Valdes has had stretches of elite form in recent memory.
Last season, it was more newsworthy to talk about Valdes leaving Barca, his injuries and comparing him to his successor, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is a once-in-a-generation talent.
If you looked at the other predominant La Liga goalkeeping storylines, you had Keylor Navas doing a Carlos Roa in just dominating the league, Thibaut Courtois' excellence and the decline of Iker Casillas.
These are part of the reasons why there is still a rudimentary narrative of Valdes being a below-par goalkeeper.
In reality, Valdes worked so hard to minimise his flaws and would have received more recognition last season, if not for a long-term injury.
As Valdes has aged, he has gotten better.
Provided that he does not have a debilitating injury issue, he will either usurp Mignolet or force the Belgian international to clean up his game.
Valdes is a free transfer, who has no leverage after a failed medical and will start as a backup.
Signing Valdes will be a shrewd calculated gamble by Liverpool.
Statistics via WhoScored.com