X

Iker Casillas vs. Victor Valdes: Who Would Be Best Goalkeeper for Liverpool?

Matt Ladson@mattladsonFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2014

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JUNE 15:  Goalkeeper Iker Casillas (R) of Spain flanked by his teammate Victor Valdes  during a training session, ahead of their FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 opening game against Uruguay, at the Pernambuco Stadium on June 15, 2013 in Recife, Brazil.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

According to The Daily Star's Chisanga Malata, Liverpool are on "RED ALERT" as Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas "eyes a move abroad."

"I’ve thought about leaving Spain," the 33-year-old is quoted as saying.

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 23: Goalkeeper Iker Casillas of Real Madrid CF looks on from the bench prior to start the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Elche CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 23, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo A
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The rather speculative report seems to follow the good old football rumour gossip formula in which a player in a certain position says he may leave his current club, and therefore a club who may need to strengthen in that position then must be interested.

In the world of the football rumour mill, two plus two often does equal five.

Ironically, the report arrives on the same day The Mirror cite Goal.com as saying Victor Valdes, Casillas' Spanish teammate, will complete his proposed move to Anfield once he proves his fitness this month.

So which will it be? Casillas or Valdes? Who would be best for Liverpool?

Tale of the Tape

The two Spaniards are of a similar ageCasillas slightly the elder but only marginallyand are of a similar stature and height. Both have extensive experience with each of Spain's—and the world's—two biggest clubs.

Of course, Casillas has been Spain's No. 1 goalkeeper for the past decade, keeping Valdes' and former Liverpool stopper Pepe Reina's national team appearances to the minimum.

 ValdesCasillas
Age3233
Height6'2"6'1"
Club Appearances528687
International Caps20157

Comparison

The strengths and weaknesses of each are again very similar. Both have been used in teams that employ similar possession-oriented systems to what Brendan Rodgers desires at Anfield.

SCHRUNS, AUSTRIA - JUNE 01:  Goalkeeper  Victor Valdes (L) of Spain juggles the ball flanked by his teammate goalkeeper Iker Casillas during a training session on June 1, 2010 in Schruns, Austria.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Casillas was a key figure in Spain's dominance internationally, while Valdes was an ever-present at the same time during Barcelona's dominance in La Liga and Europe.

While Casillas was generally perceived to be the better all-around 'keeper, Valdes is the one who has shown huge improvements in his game as he matured towards and into his 30s.

Indeed, Casillas has found himself a peripheral figure at the Bernabeu in the last two campaigns and under both Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti.

Valdes, meanwhile, was still a key player for Barca up until his ACL injury back in March. His decision to leave the Catalan side was his own, seeking a new challenge, rather than Casillas, who is seemingly being pushed from Madrid.

Availability

It's with that in mind that perhaps Valdes is the better option for Liverpool—he wants a new challenge, while Casillas has been, at least until now, happy to sit on the bench at his beloved Real Madrid.

The fact that Valdes is available immediately due to being out of contract also makes him a far more viable and attractive proposition for Liverpool.

5 - No keeper has conceded less goals at the end of a season in the Spanish League history than Víctor Valdés (5). @LFC ?

— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 7, 2014

Rodgers is rightly keen to bring in experience and competition for Simon Mignolet, and the sooner that arrives, the better.

If Valdes can prove his fitness this month, he could be signed and available for the busy festive fixtures and also key Champions League games such as away to Real Madrid next month and at home to FC Basel. Having a player of such experience—Valdes having won the competition three times—around on a matchday and in training would be invaluable for Rodgers' youthful squad.

Verdict

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 12:  Victor Valdes of FC Barcelona celebrates the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City at Camp Nou on March 12, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/G
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Neither Valdes nor Casillas is the long-term solution for Liverpool, but either can bring vital experience and ability to the Anfield outfit. They have similar strengths and weaknesses, and the difference comes down to who is more available and better suited to the challenge.

Therefore, Valdes proves the better option for Liverpool at this time and would be a shrewd and important signing, providing a morale boost to the squad at an important time of the season.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.