Since being bought by Anfield in 2005, Pepe Reina has consistently been an outstanding performer. He has been overshadowed by the likes of Gerrard, and formerly Torres, for too long but remains humble and respectful. He has committed his future to Liverpool, stating that he would like to end his career as a red. But now, as more and more top flight clubs are in search of a top flight player, will money lure him to Old Trafford or the Emirates next season, or will he stand strong, and unlike some, keep to his word?
Reina was recently hailed as ‘the best keeper in the world’, and as he makes his 300th appearance against Braga this week, surely it is time he gets the recognition he deserves. Many Liverpool fans applaud Reina for being the best; he is captain when Carragher and Gerrard are not on the pitch. But surely a keeper who is this good should not be playing in the Europa League and battling for a spot in any European competition next year, but instead should be in a position where he is concentrating on winning the Premier and Champions Leagues.
With Manchester United’s Edwin Van der Sar retiring at the end of the current campaign, United will be looking to strengthen their goalkeeping and truly find another Schmeichel. United are a strong side with money to prove it, and Liverpool fans should definitely be worried, as the lure of Champions League football may be too tempting for a goalkeeper who deserves medals away from the Kop. However, United have already bought in Lindergaard in January and a possible bid for Athletico Madrid’s David de Gea, may calm Liverpool fans as De Gea, who at only 20, is already tipped to be a future star.
However, Reina seems to be a loyal servant to Liverpool. He has developed into a star at Anfield and is loved by its supporters. He is arguably the best distributor of the ball by any goalkeeper in the premiership, and is also settled in Liverpool, which may keep him tied to Anfield. Moreover, Liverpool seem to be on the verge of recovery, and with Reina’s position under no threat, he could be part of another era where Liverpool are simply unstoppable. However, Arsenal play a passing game similar to the Spanish style, and as they do not have a confirmed number one, a move for Reina could still happen.
It is only Reina who can control his future, but Pepe Reina is a Liverpool hero. He is a firm fan favourite and is starting to gain appreciation for his work. He is living on the verge of a Liverpool recovery, and in my opinion he will stay a Liverpool player. Out of respect to Liverpool he would never move to United, and Arsenal seem unlikely, with the imminent departure of Cesc Fabregas, to attract such a prolific goalkeeper. It would be wrong for someone to foresee Reina’s future, but for me, he is, and will be, a Liverpool keeper next season.