FC Barcelona’s second choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has been linked with a move to Liverpool FC ever since the Reds signed Jurgen Klopp as their manager last year but has now pledged to stay.
The 24 year old was reportedly frustrated at having to play second fiddle to Chile international Claudio Bravo, who starts in all the La Liga matches. Ter Stegen takes over in the Copa del Rey and the Champions League matches.
Now, however, the German goalkeeper has come out with a statement pledging his loyalty to Barcelona and saying that he is prepared to fight for his place in the starting XI.
This comes as a big blow for Liverpool, who are reportedly looking to provide some competition to their own goalkeepers Simon Mignolet and Danny Ward.
With Ter Stegen ruling himself out of a switch away from Barcelona, the Reds have to now look at other options to sign a new goalkeeper. Here are three keepers that Klopp could sign, now that Ter Stegen is out of the equation.
Kevin Trapp, PSG
With PSG reportedly looking to sign top goalkeepers like David De Gea and Thibaut Courtois, Kevin Trapp might be a great option for Jurgen Klopp to sign in the summer transfer window. There was some talk of signing Trapp last season, but that did not materialise. Now however, with Klopp in the fold, there seems to be a greater chance for the Reds to sign him.
Trapp started his career in the Kaiserslautern academy, but later transferred to Frankfurt after Die roten Teufel got relegated in 2012. The young goalkeeper impressed in his three year stay at Frankfurt, and finally earned a transfer to PSG who could offer him Champions League football.
The 25 year old has impressed further in his debut season at PSG, keeping 17 clean sheets in the current Ligue 1 campaign, which the Parisians have completely dominated.
Trapp’s figures look extremely impressive when compared to Liverpool no.1 Simon Mignolet. Trapp (3.59) has made more than three times the number of saves per goal than Mignolet (1.08), which clearly sets the two goalkeepers apart.
The young German goalkeeper is an authoritative presence inside his box, which is a great advantage for the defence in front of him. That, however, is not something that can be said about Mignolet, as the Belgian often gets confused whether to come out and punch, or to just stay on his line and thwart any potential danger. Even when he does come out to punch, he does not exactly inspire great confidence in his defenders.
Trapp could be a huge improvement in this area, if Liverpool do decide to sign him in the summer. They might even get him at a cheap price if PSG manage to sign another top goalkeeper ahead of the next season.
Mattia Perin, Genoa
If Liverpool are looking for a long term option in goal, 23 year old Mattia Perin could be the man for them. The Italian has long been considered as one of the best young goalkeepers in Italy, which explains Genoa’s eagerness to keep him.
Although he is a Genoa academy product, Perin has served his time in the lower leagues, when he was loaned out to Serie B club Padova. However, it was his season-long loan spell at newly promoted Pescara in 2012/13 that really caught the eye of all the top clubs in Europe.
Pescara got relegated that very season, but Perin’s performance was hailed by one and all, with many even drawing comparisons to the legendary Gianluigi Buffon. In fact, Perin had famously foiled Buffon’s 500th Serie A appearance by keeping a clean sheet, in a 1-0 win for Genoa.
Although Perin is 6’2″ (which is quite low for goalkeepers), his ability to jump high more than makes up for his height. That coupled with his fast reflexes makes him a perfect goalkeeper for the Premier League.
Also, the fact that he has spent a lot of time learning from a top keeper like Gigi Buffon during their Italian national team call-ups (Perin is the third choice goalkeeper for Italy), means that he would have picked up some valuable tips from one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Even though he is much younger than Mignolet, Perin is a goalkeeper who looks much calmer between the sticks, which provides a lot of reassurance to the defence.
Fraser Forster, Southampton
Although he is 28 years old, Fraser Forster could be a great option for Liverpool, as he is one of the best English goalkeepers around. Standing an 6’7″ tall, Forster is an absolute giant in front of goal. His gargantuan frame sets him apart from Simon Mignolet.
Forster’s career trajectory has been on the rise since his days in the youth system of Newcastle United. After spending some time out on loan in the lower leagues (Stockport, Bristol, and Norwich), Forster finally got his big break at Scottish club Celtic, where Neil Lennon brought him in on loan.
He instantly became a hit at Celtic, becoming their no.1 goalkeeper in his debut season at the club. His good performances meant that Celtic brought him on loan for a second successive season, before making the deal permanent.
In his four-year stay at Celtic, Forster helped the club win three Scottish Premier Leagues and two Scottish FA Cups. However, the world of football really turned it’s head towards Forster when the Englishman churned out a brilliant performance against the mighty Barcelona in a group stage Champions League match, in 2012.
Forster has shown great character in coming back from a severe knee injury that had kept him out of action for almost around nine months. The 28 year old kept a clean sheet in his very first match after coming back from the long term injury, proving that he has still got what it takes. Since then, Forster has gone on to keep six clean sheets in his 16 Premier League appearances.
Since coming back from his injury, Forster has made more saves, taken more catches, and conceded fewer goals (per game) than Mignolet. Also, the fact that the 28 year old has done it all in the Premier League means that he does not have to adjust to the pace and the physicality of the English game, making him a great choice.