Liverpool head coach Brendan Rodgers is absolutely right to want to keep hold of Spain international Jose Manuel Reina at Anfield next season.
Spain international No 2 is going nowhere this summer, insists the Reds manager.
SOURCE: The Daily Mail
There has been mounting speculation of late surrounding the future of highly-rated Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Manuel Reina, with many sections of the English press suggesting that the 30-year-old shot stopper’s glittering career at Anfield could soon be coming to an end.
However, Reds head coach Brendan Rodgers has now insisted that the some-time Spain international’s future is very much on Merseyside and that the keeper would not be leaving the Reds at the end of the season to re-join La Liga giants FC Barcelona.
Reina played for the Catalans for two years between 2000 and 2002, making 30 appearances for the Camp Nou club, before deciding to try his luck elsewhere, firstly with fellow La Liga outfit Villarreal from 2002 to 2005, before former Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez brought the Spaniard to Anfield eight years ago.
And, in the intervening period Reina has become a mainstay of the Liverpool back four, appearing 278 times for the Premier League giants while winning both the FA Cup and the League Cup in the process, while also establishing himself as one of the top flight’s most consistent and high-quality custodians.
“Pepe has never been unsettled and our relationship is very strong,” said Rodgers to the Daily Mail.
“I have given him and a few of the senior boys here a real responsibility and I think they have enjoyed that. I see him as someone who is hopefully going to be here.”
That form has inevitably led to much speculation over the years linking the player with moves away from Anfield, including in the summer of 2010 when Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger launched a £20 million bid to bring the goalkeeper to north London, only for the Reds to turn the Frenchman down.
Despite various dips in form though, especially at the start of this season when Australian reserve Brad Jones briefly replaced Reina between the sticks at Anfield, the keeper has been a rock behind the Liverpool defence.
In particular, it is the Spaniard’s abilities with the ball at his feet that most stand out, an extremely valuable skill for the modern-day keeper, while there are also few better when it comes to distribution and the starting off of attacks via the use of the long throw.
Liverpool and Rodgers would therefore be hard pressed to find a better alternative to Reina in the current market.