Pepe Reina Loan to Napoli Confirmed by Brendan Rodgers

Julian Finney

Shortly after the goalkeeper alluded to his exit on Twitter, Brendan Rodgers confirms that Pepe Reina will be spending next season on loan at Napoli under former boss Rafa Benitez.

The idea of two top-class goalkeepers competing for the starting spot was seductive one, and one that, in the end, was too good to be true. Simon Mignolet's arrival at Liverpool was heralded as a chance for he and Pepe Reina to go at it throughout the summer and the coming season--for Reina to be challenged for the first time in his Liverpool career. His gradual decline came as place in goal became further and further cemented, and to finally have someone nipping at his heels to push him along to his form of old almost seemed too good to be true. And today, after a week filled with exit talks, we're again reminded that it was.

Reina's vague confirmation on Twitter earlier in the week made it real, and today was the first time that Brendan Rodgers spoke concretely on the deal, elaborating on how the process unfolded and why an exit for Reina was the only outcome for which Liverpool had prepared:

"It was obviously a difficult decision. From last season, really, as a manager I was led to believe that we were going to get an offer for Pepe that would probably see him leave the club. On the football side, we have to protect the team, and at that stage we started our search for another goalkeeper.

"That found us Simon Mignolet, who's top class - one of the top young European goalkeepers. As events transpired, that move [for Reina] didn't happen and it left us with two very good goalkeepers. Both would have been fighting for the No.1 position. Then obviously an opportunity arose for Pepe and it was one we felt as a football club was best for him to take."

That can and likely will be taken as though Rodgers and the club were deceitful in their assertions that they'd have both at the club, but Rodgers' reasoning also makes plenty of sense. We all thought Pepe Reina was leaving Liverpool, and were the club not prepared for that reality--be it this season or next--Rodgers would be in for an absolute roasting. We can't have it both ways, even if the deal involves a player that we've all come to love over the past eight years.

Pepe Reina's exit will be felt, full stop. Simon Mignolet will ideally fill the void left by Reina's fading form and fancy statistics and numbers and blahblahblah, but he can't possibly provide the sentimental attachment, nice fellow as he might be, that we had with Pepe. Not yet, at least.

More from The Liverpool Offside:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Liverpool Offside

You must be a member of The Liverpool Offside to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Liverpool Offside. You should read them.

Join The Liverpool Offside

You must be a member of The Liverpool Offside to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Liverpool Offside. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker