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"If Victor Valdes joins, will he be number one?"


Liverpool's summer long search for an upgrade on back keeper Brad Jones took an unexpected twist recently when former Barcelona number one Victor Valdes emerged as a target. Reports suggest a deal has been struck with the much decorated Spaniard, and will be finalised once he has proved his fitness following a serious knee injury. The question is, will Valdes be coming to provide back up/competition or to replace Simon Mignolet? Three of our writers discuss...

 

Firstly, the lack of quality competition for our number one goalkeeper is something I have been banging my drum about for around five years, so if this comes to fruition I will be happy that we have finally managed to sort that problem out.
 
But if we consider whether or not he will walk straight into the first team or not, I think we have to see how he has recovered from his injury. Valdes’ ACL blew out and it was a bad one. He was in no contact with any player; it was the way his knee bent as his studs caught the turf collecting a high ball. I’ve watched it a couple of times before writing this and it isn’t pleasant viewing. It isn’t just about fitness – how is his confidence? Injuries like this are not easy to recover from.
 
Everything I’ve ever read about Victor Valdes suggests he is a hard working and dedicated winner and you have only to look at his medal collection to see that is absolutely the case. He’s come a long way from the Victor Valdes of the early/mid 2000s who always seemed to be making a string of errors. I see a lot of Spanish football and as he has grown up and come of age, those errors have appeared less and less.
 
He isn’t perfect and he will make errors similar to Mignolet – he will unexpectedly and needlessly fumble a ball under very little pressure and he isn’t the most commanding goalkeeper in the world when it comes to crosses.
 
But what he would definitely bring to our game is control of his penalty area and first class distribution. Barcelona’s game has been all about retaining possession for the last decade and Valdes has played over 500 games for them. He will be ideal for the calmness and composure we need when we’re being pressed in and around our penalty box. He will distribute the ball effectively and cleverly and without panicking the entire crowd.
 
He is very commanding of his box and it will be like having the old Reina back to that effect. He is quick off his line and is always on the front foot, looking to take control and to collect the ball. That to me is one of the big things which separates top goalkeepers from very good ones.
 
I’m pleased to see that we appear to have stolen a march on the rest of Europe on Valdes. I thought there would be a huge queue of clubs after him but it looks like we’ve got there first. He can probably make more money elsewhere but I think Valdes is looking for a new challenge. That was why he tearfully decided to leave Barcelona – another challenge.
 
Displacing Mignolet is going to be one of those. The Belgian is anything but a bad goalkeeper, and it really annoys me to read/see people saying that he is. He’s everything I said he was when we signed him last summer – he makes great saves but the rest of his game needs work. The arrival of Valdes can only do one of two things. Kick him on and make sure he stays number one, or see him be replaced by Valdes.
 
Personally I think Mignolet is in a spot of bother because Valdes is a leader, supposedly a massive warrior and a commanding presence. We don’t have enough of that in our back four and Mignolet isn’t going to become vocal overnight.
 
This really is win/win for the club. Valdes is ridiculously experienced and is still only 32. He might not come straight into the team and he is going to have to severely prove his fitness, but Valdes is going to have designs on that number one spot and that is something that I find very exciting. It’s a shakeup we have needed for a long time and we will reap the rewards of it. 
 


Dan Thomas

 

 

 


Well this is interesting; once again Liverpool are not messing about when they have a gap in the squad. They’ve identified the problem, they’ve found a solution and they’re away. If I’m Mignolet then I might be a little worried by this potential Valdes signing. I’d love to know what our current number one is thinking about it all but I’d also like to know what the club has said to Valdes and on what terms he’ll be arriving here.
 
The key to this question is what does the club envision with Valdes arriving? Does he want to sit on the bench and count his money? Or does he think he can wrestle the starting spot from Mignolet? Perhaps the club see this situation as a potential scenario where they can platoon them in goal? Certainly if it’s the latter then that’ll never work out, chopping and changing goalkeepers puts everyone on edge. I just can’t see Valdes coming to sit on the bench though, he’s a good goalkeeper who was playing for a successful club side, no way would he have left all that to do nothing.
 
Mignolet might feel aggrieved that he’s being placed in this position but ultimately competition is the best thing for the squad. Now Mignolet might thrive under the pressure or wilt like a poisoned flower. It’s not for all players and I’m not exactly sure what sort of player Mignolet actually is when he’s under pressure for his squad place as the only ‘competition’ has been Brad Jones. He doesn’t seem the most assertive of players (his lack of command in the area emphasises that) but I’m not sure if he will fail when under pressure for places. I genuinely don’t know how he’ll react but my instinct is that he’ll rise to the challenge.
 
It all depends if the club set parameters with both players, if they tell them that Valdes is the no.2 (something I can’t imagine he has agreed too) then that might simultaneously relax Mignolet not to be edgy in games and give him the confidence to produce a string of performances that answers any questions that currently hang over him.
 
I like Valdes although I’ve never thought he was a top echelon ‘keeper but he’s not chopped liver. The dominant Barcelona teams of the last 7 years have been able to get away without actual centre backs since they held on to the ball so well that the opposition could never really pepper their goal. That doesn’t mean that Valdes hasn’t been good when called upon, it’s just I never placed him up there with very best.
 
I suppose the real question is do I think Valdes is better than Mignolet? The answer is I probably do, yes. So if Liverpool are signing a player better than the man occupying the shirt, then I suppose you have to start them. However you look at it Mignolet has now got genuine competition for the first time since he arrived here, what happens next is up to him.
 


Julian Richards

 
 
 
There are two ways of looking at this potential/probable signing: firstly, it's very harsh to put a very good and indeed improving young keeper like Mignolet under the sort of pressure that stems from one of the most decorated goal keepers in world football coming in to sniff around his first team slot.
 
However, the other is to say that we are a club in the ascendancy and we cannot afford to stand still; Mignolet has been good but not great and why should he be any different to any other player in our rapidly improving squad? They have to face significant competition for their places every week, so why not him.
 
To be honest, I think he's a great shot-stopper whose game nevertheless needs a high degree of re-tuning in order to fully complement the way we play. However, even if I was more effusive about him than that, Valdes would still be a no-brainer of a signing. Assuming his fitness is proven, how could anyone deny he'd be a hugely positive piece of recruitment?
 
We are talking about a man who has won the lot here. His medal collection is incredible, but even if you discount the international medals on the basis that he didn't play, you can't ignore his club haul. Valdes is a winner, plain and simple and you can never have too many of those in a dressing room. Furthermore he's a big character and a leader used to holding his own in a team full of some of the greatest players in history. Again, how can that not be of benefit to us?
 
That all said, it's when you look at his game that the arguments in favour of his signature become compelling. Valdes is made for the way we play: a genuine "sweeper keeper" who's great with his feet and totally unintimidated about being exposed by what most would regard as a recklessly high back line. Furthermore, he's highly vocal and a great shot stopper too.
 
In short, this is beyond doubt a nailed on "must sign" deal (as long as his fitness is assured). And I don't think he'd be coming in as number two either. At 32 years of age, he's just getting into his peak years as a goal keeper and, harsh though it sounds, I'd put him straight into the team at Mignolet's expense. This could be a transformational signing.
 

Paul Natton


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180 Comments

No, he'll be back up. He's obviously not a bad keeper, but I always thought he was Barca weak link, I think Reina is better than him, and I'm not his biggest fan. Mingelot will be number 1 for next 5 years, he's already pulled off world class save v Southampton and spurs at key points of matches and won us points.
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Hopefully, as he's better than Mignolet. Been top class for the last three or four years at Barcelona.

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I don't believe Valdes is being signed as back-up and neither I'm guessing does Valdes.
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Depends how he recovers and acclimatises.

 

If he's wary of the contact allowed in the area in this league, and his injury plays on his mind, then he could end up even less commanding than Mig.

 

If he goes back to the player he was before the ACL, then he'll probably be first choice.

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Depends how he recovers and acclimatises.

 

If he's wary of the contact allowed in the area in this league, and his injury plays on his mind, then he could end up even less commanding than Mig.

 

If he goes back to the player he was before the ACL, then he'll probably be first choice.

 

Unpossible.

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I dont care who goes in goal, i just want a settled back five.
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Unpossible.

 

Yespossible.

 

First season in a new league, alehouse players looking to clatter him, fresh off an injury received when landing badly, possibly slow off his line due to the ACL. If it all plays on his mind then it's a recipe for a keeper who'll shy clear of the action.

 

Fortunately, Valdes is an egotistical twat, so I'm hoping he rates himself enough to not bother with the worries of mere mortals.

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3 great articles those, chaps.

We seemingly can't lose on this deal with the obvious big if that Valdes is over his injury, especially if Mignolet starts to iron out some of his weak points through working with him every day.

I've no idea if its fair or not, but the general impression that Liverpol's goalkeeping coaching isn't up to much snuff has been there for a long time, and there are areas of Valdes's game which Mignolet could learn from to help refine his own should he be minded to do so. His future with us will depend on how he reacts.

Assuming he's fully recovered from such a terrible injury, Valdes appears a real fit for how Brendan likes to play. As the latter generally picks on merit, may the best man win (and keep) the shirt.
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It looks like the very knowledgeable Tony Evans was bang on as usual when he said the club have concerns about Mignolet.Valdes wanted to leave Barca for a last payday in Monaco or maybe it was the challenge, right. Anyway he will want to be paid well and rigthly so as his record warrants it and he would want a long contract. So I would assume if fitness wise there is nothing wrong with him Valdes without question will be number one. He is too good to be Mignolets wingman. Mignolet could even be sent out on loan as I doubt he would want to be backup. So stop pretending we will have them both, it won't happen. Or maybe at a push we could keep both till the summer.

The only thing that seems strange is that it gets leaked now that undermines Mignolet in the period inbetween. So I'm not so sure this will actually get done something seems odd about it. Like both parties are using the interest for their own means. I reckon we will buy a keeper but not Valdes. Serious injury wants good money and a last contract would be pleasantly surprised if it happens.
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I'll believe it when he signs, certainly not a typical FSG signing if the salary is high. Perhaps it's got clauses for both parties.
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The fact that this is being publicised suggests to me that we've already shaken hands on a deal and it just needs confirming. I'd still be worried about being trumped though; I'd be tempted to get him to sign a contract with a medical get out clause in it so he can't slip through our fingers. He could be a brilliant signing for us and I don't want some "bright lights, big city, more-money-than-sense" cunt to snaffle him. That said, BR is all about the hunger so if he did bail, that'd tell its own story. 

 

I really hope this happens though; he'd be fucking boss for us. It also shows how serious Brendan is about sorting out our defence without curtailing our attacking threat: he'd be the fourth defensive signing for this season where he was recruiting a player better suited to our system than what we already had.

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I like Mignolet. I like Valdes more. Always found it strange how he was generally not rated by people in this country. Ace goalie.
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He's a good looking bastard.

On this basis alone, I'm in.
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It seems strange they would undermine Mignolet for a keeper who isn't even fit and has already shown he likes big Monaco money. I'm calling bullshit, Rodgers and the city boys want Joe Hart. Maybe City want Valdes and we are involving ourselves in the mix. Anyway make it happen Valdes not Joe Hart.
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Hart is well overrated.  He has more mistakes in him than any goalie we've had since Westerveld. 

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A one legged blind OAP with Parkinsons would give me more confidence in goal, than Brad Jones.

 

Valdes will have to earn his place. This may just be the kick up the arse that Mongo needs.

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A one legged blind OAP with Parkinsons would give me more confidence in goal, than Brad Jones.


Bit disrespectful that. Jones has never let us down when called upon.
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Numero Veinticinco
Sep 06 2014 10:33 AM

I dont care who goes in goal, i just want a settled back five.


Yeah, that's how I feel.
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Stringy knows.
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Stringy knows.


Aaarrrrrgggghhhh shut the fuck up you annoying tit
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Yespossible.

 

First season in a new league, alehouse players looking to clatter him, fresh off an injury received when landing badly, possibly slow off his line due to the ACL. If it all plays on his mind then it's a recipe for a keeper who'll shy clear of the action.

 

Fortunately, Valdes is an egotistical twat, so I'm hoping he rates himself enough to not bother with the worries of mere mortals.

 

I understand the possible concerns, just refuse to believe anyone could be worse than Mignolet at commanding his area. Brad Jones is better than him at it.

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3 great articles those, chaps.

We seemingly can't lose on this deal with the obvious big if that Valdes is over his injury, especially if Mignolet starts to iron out some of his weak points through working with him every day.

I've no idea if its fair or not, but the general impression that Liverpol's goalkeeping coaching isn't up to much snuff has been there for a long time, and there are areas of Valdes's game which Mignolet could learn from to help refine his own should he be minded to do so. His future with us will depend on how he reacts.

Assuming he's fully recovered from such a terrible injury, Valdes appears a real fit for how Brendan likes to play. As the latter generally picks on merit, may the best man win (and keep) the shirt.

 

It's been shite since Xavi Valero left. Very strange how some complete fucking mongs on here seemed to think it was irrelevant who the goalkeeping coach was.

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I understand the possible concerns, just refuse to believe anyone could be worse than Mignolet at commanding his area. Brad Jones is better than him at it.

 

Fair enough, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I know it's a major weak point in his game, but I tend to think Mig's nervy look places an overemphasis on his lack of a commanding nature, a bit like Sakho's awkward gait makes it seem like his passing is all wrong. 

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Cant believe Valdes would accept coming here to be a No2, especially on less wages than what he would get elsewhere to be a No1.

Must mean there are serious doubts in the coaching staff over Mignolet

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Can I just add my input...

You do not, in any way shape or form, spend 12 years as Barcelona's first choice goalkeeper, making nearly 550 appearances as a result, and win everything in your path... If you are not really, really good.

That is all.
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