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The Decline Of Pepe Reina

There were newspaper reports over the weekend suggesting that Arsenal are preparing a January bid for Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is a long-term admirer of the Spanish goalkeeper and had a £20 million offer for Reina rejected in 2010. But now it is said that Arsenal can get Reina for half that amount, as Brendan Rodgers looks to raise some cash to buy his own players.

The slight problem with this scenario is that Pepe Reina is not half the goalkeeper he was two years ago. Look a how his save percentage has dropped over time. You don’t spend £10 million on someone who is barely saving 61% of the shots he faces.

I am sure that Brendan Rodgers is well aware of the decline in Reina also. The Spanish keeper is one of Liverpool’s highest paid players and Rodgers probably feels that he can replace Reina with someone like Birmingham’s Jack Butland, Stoke’s Asmir Begovic and Ron-Robert Zieler of Hannover for a fraction of the cost, and still have money left over to reinforce his squad in other areas.

As for Arsenal I agree that they need an experienced back-up goalkeeper. Someone who can step in when Szczesny gets hurt, and also help the current Arsenal number one when he struggles. But you don’t need to spend £10 million on someone like that, especially as it will immediately cause a goalkeeper controversy as soon as he arrives.