Joe Hart has had a whirlwind one year or so. After being part of a side that reached the Champions League semi-final, the custodian found himself unwanted by new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and made a somewhat low-key move to Torino in the Serie A. While it baffled many, City were perhaps happy to loan him out to a side who weren’t their rivals. But with the quality Hart possesses, he’s likely to find himself new suitors in the summer and one of them are Liverpool, according to reports.
Liverpool spend a few quid on a new keeper last summer but Simon Mignolet has still managed to stay on as the first choice. Although he was initially replaced by Loris Karius, the German failed to deal with the physicality of the League and even his shot-stopping wasn’t up to the usual standards he had set while at Mainz. Mignolet got his chance to make the spot his own and has been fairly impressive since then.
Having said that, the Belgian isn’t immune to making mistakes. In his first season, he did have patches where he won the team crucial points, but did have some games where he botched punches and failed to convince in goal. The goal-keeping area remains a position that isn’t 100% fool-proof but unless there’s a player out there who can vastly improve the situation, it would be wise to stick with the current two.
Keepers tend to get better with age and considering Hart is still 30, you could say he still has at least three to four more years of football left in him. However, the fee being mentioned for him is on the steeper end at £20m.
Keeping is a position subjected to intense scrutiny these days. While strikers and midfielders can get away with misses and misplaced passes, keepers bear the brunt for just a single mistake, and even more so in the Premier League which is pretty open.
Mignolet has done pretty well in the last few months and considering Hart hasn’t had a flawless spell at Torino, the more sensible thing to do would be to stick with the Belgian. Karius too will have learned from his mistakes and lest we forget, he was heralded as a brilliant shot-stopper in Germany and even had a stunning record of saving spot-kicks in the Bundesliga.
Klopp has one good keeper and another who can be good if he is given the time to adapt, something that even the likes of Joe Hart and David de Gea were afforded in their early years at the two Manchester clubs.