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Liverpool Transfer News: Selling Pepe Reina Isn't a Terrible Move for Reds

NORWICH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Pepe Reina of Liverpool celebrates his team scoring a goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Liverpool at Carrow Road on September 29, 2012 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2012

Liverpool might be wise to have another player between the posts.

Supporters were most likely surprised to read of Pepe Reina's possible departure from Anfield. The Daily Mail reported that Reina would be sold, and youngster Jack Butland would be his replacement.

The Daily Mirror, among various others, reported that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has already denied the move could happen.

The Mail isn't the most accurate source for transfer rumors, but this isn't the first time speculation has come up regarding goalkeeper's future. And it wouldn't be the first time that a manager has denied transfer rumors only to sell a player shortly thereafter.

Reina has been a reliable keeper for both Liverpool and Villarreal throughout his career. He might not have ever been considered world class, but Reina sits in the category just below it.

This might be Reina's worst year for the Reds. He's been hurt for a portion of the season, and upon his return he's looked a little lacking in confidence at times. Liverpool has still maintained a steady defense, ranking sixth in the Premier League in goals allowed (18).

You would struggle to make an argument that selling Reina makes Liverpool a better team. Still, though, his departure from Anfield isn't a bad move for the club.

Reina might be 30 years old, but goalkeepers can last much longer than outfield players. Regardless, it's easy to see how his performance might continue to drop in the coming years.

Despite his overall class, Reina has been extremely prone to silly mistakes. Those errors have kept him from being considered elite, and they have also cost the club points.

Players make ridiculous mistakes all the time. But with Reina, you have to wonder how many he makes before you start to consider that it's just a part of the player he is, and maybe he isn't as good as you think.

If Liverpool can get a £10-plus million transfer fee for him, that's smart business. Goalkeepers are seriously undervalued across the globe, so Liverpool could buy a very good replacement for half that fee.

The Reds can get a player in his early 20s and be set at the position for the next five years to a decade. Liverpool unfortunately can't count on Reina being that guy.

The club is in a position of growing toward the future. It makes sense that management would want to get a young player in now and bed him in with the back four.

He may have some bad performances, but they'll help him develop into a quality keeper by the time Liverpool really has a shot at the title or even the top four.

Reina has been a great member of Liverpool during his time with the club, but it may be time to move him on.

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