‘What? You mean Adrian isn’t very good?’ | Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
Apparently Liverpool want Jack Butland.
It is 100% understandable that they’re after a new goalkeeper. Adrian’s form has…dipped.
However, it is also not five or so years ago, when Butland was anything other than ‘also not great’. Without doubt the talk of the town at the beginning of the decade, it was almost certain that Butland would be England’s starting goalkeeper for the 2016 European Championships, only for a fractured ankle to rule him out of the tournament entirely.
From thereon in, he’s never been able to recapture his mid-decade form. Still playing in the Championship, the Reds’ desperation for anyone to come in and prevent Adrian from getting gloved up has seen them in dire need of a stopper.
It shouldn’t be Butland, though. Any of the following EFL goalkeepers would suit much more.
David Raya missed out on Premier League football after losing last season’s play-off final | Alex Pantling/Getty Images
Adrian can’t pass the ball.
Adrian can’t communicate with his defenders.
David Raya can not only pass the ball better than most second tier centre-backs, but his voice is a constant backdrop to any game Brentford play. A side instructed to build from the back, the Bees’ attacks can often be traced all the way back to Raya.
Of course, it’s not all about ball-playing, as his handling from crosses quick thinking are also valuable assets. 90min revealed that Arsenal were, and still are, hot on his tail, so the Spaniard has admiring glances from elsewhere. Also, he classes as homegrown. Bonus.
Rafael goes by one same. So does Adrian. Bad omen? | Michael Steele/Getty Images
Reading, who struggled last season and could only muster a 14th-place finish, had much of their +1 goal difference to thank Rafael for. No joke, it should have been far worse.
The 30-year-old faced the second-highest number of shots in the Championship last season but recorded among the best five for goals conceded per 90 minutes.
One thing the Brazilian also has to offer is experience. This is not just because of his age, but his former clubs. Granted he never really played, but he turned out for Napoli 45 times and then Sampdoria after.
Has started this season brilliantly with one goal conceded in the opening four matches.
Krul still plays at international level. Adrian does not. | Soccrates Images/Getty Images
He is prone to the occasional error, yes, but it’s inevitable when you’re being faced with 800 shots a match in one of the worst sides the Premier League has ever seen in Norwich last season.
Even the Newcastle sides he played in were hardly water-tight, yet it remains that Krul is a fine shot-stopper and strong in the air. Not one to mess around at the back, his experience as a goalkeeper would nevertheless be vital to a backline who dare not face another day lining up in front of Adrian.
What’s more, Liverpool have lost two penalty shootouts already this season. Krul wouldn’t have let that happen.
Another crack at the Premier League? Why not. | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images
Calls still exist to this day for Foster to return to the England fold, having become one of the most reliable stoppers in the country since he burst onto the scene at Manchester United in 2005. Of course he retired from international football ages ago, but the current crop are hardly much better than the Watford stopper.
Above all, he’s consistent. A hard worker who has spent countless hours on the training pitch perfecting each facet of his game, there are still a good few more years of Foster in top form before he hangs his gloves up.
Obviously Liverpool don’t need anyone long-term, but the chance of lifting silverware for Foster this season may be too hard to turn down.
He’s so good he can turn his hand into the ball. | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images
Let’s brush over Nottingham Forest’s late season form and current predicament. When we do that, we can see one of the EFL’s most exciting goalkeepers, who has been a revelation since moving to the City Ground from Caen.
His all-action style (seriously, watch highlight reels, it’s as if he’s on a constant sugar rush) endeared him to supporters immediately, but more importantly, it was his overall game that impressed onlookers.
Samba makes a variety of saves, all effective in their own manner, while his distribution – especially with his arms – is among the best in the second tier. Furthermore, Forest have signed a new goalkeeper to provide competition, so Liverpool can swoop in knowing Forest might not be too disappointed to lose Samba.