Liverpool have reportedly given Pepe Reina until January to prove his ability to fit into Brendan Rodgers' new system, or face being sold.
It would be a dramatic end to the career of a player that has become a firm fan favourite at Anfield, but his performances so far this season have been far from assured.
The Reds were criticised for a failure to threaten Arsenal’s goal in their last Premier League outing, but Reina was also at fault for the second goal in the 2-0 loss to Arsene Wenger’s side.
If Liverpool were to sell Reina, they would need to identify a replacement very quickly, though the current reserve ‘keepers, Brad Jones and Alexander Doni, do not look to be top quality.
GMF has identified five players that could possibly fill the void left by the possible departure of Reina. Here they are:
Michel Vorm has been impressive since moving to the Premier League from the Eredivisie in his native Holland a year ago and he worked under current Reds boss Rodgers at Swansea City last season. Good reflexes and comfortable with the ball at his feet, Vorm fits into the Northern Irishman’s system well.
Ali Al-Habsi has been regularly saving games for Wigan over the past year or so and has certainly overcome the jitters he had when first breaking into the side. The Oman international is a very good shot-stopper, but his wider game has also improved greatly over the end of last season.
AS Roma ‘keeper Maarten Stekelenburg has been steadily improving his reputation since leaving boyhood club Ajax to take up the number one jersey, ousting current Liverpool back-up Doni, at the Stadio Olimpico. Stekelenburg has also become the Holland number one since Edwin van der Sar’s retirement.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been getting scouts excited with his performances for Borussia Monchengladbach in the German Bundesliga over the past season. Just 20 years old, Ter Stegen has already made his debut for the senior Germany side, while forcing himself into Gladbach’s starting XI while still a teenager – a very exciting prospect.
Jack Butland’s performances for Team GB at London 2012 vindicated the hype that had been building around him for some time leading up to the tournament. The 19-year-old had only ever played senior football in League Two while on loan at Cheltenham Town, but was being tipped for a move to one of the Premier League’s biggest sides. Would be a gamble due to his age, but could develop into a fine number one and occupy the position for many years.
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