Confirmation on the signing for Liverpool, pondering Cavalieri's future.
From the official site:
Liverpool have confirmed a £2.3m fee has been agreed with Middlesbrough for the transfer of Australian international goalkeeper Brad Jones.
The 28-year-old stopper passed a medical on Monday afternoon and has agreed personal terms. He is expected to complete the paperwork on a three-year contract on Tuesday. The Australia international spent the early part of his career as understudy to Mark Schwarzer, before battling it out with Ross Turnbull to become first-choice at the Riverside at the start of the 2008-09 season.
During his time in the North-East he picked up a League Cup winner's medal and was between the sticks for the club's famous UEFA Cup semi-final victory over Steaua Bucharest back in 2006. He has since won two caps for Australia and was named in their 2010 World Cup squad.
This is basically the less sexy, less high-profile version of what could potentially happen at Arsenal right now---Australian keeper joins up, sends current keeper into tailspin where he questions his future, the world watches with glazed-over eyes.
Except now we're talking about who's vying for the spot as Pepe Reina's backup and potential League Cup participant, not the number one spot. The signing of Jones is undoubtedly one that's meant to satisfy the new homegrown requirements, since Jones was reared in the Middlesbrough ranks. I don't buy that his status as homegrown is any sort of "added" benefit---for me, that's the biggest benefit. And the £2.3 million to sign him doesn't seem like a ton of money, but it's quite a bit considering the dearth of cash we've seen used on transfer fees this summer.
Added: Thanks to the official site's interview with Jones for reminding me that his best Anfield memory is this:
After watching that over and over again for the last five minutes, I forgot why I posted it. What a hit. Oh, Brad Jones. Tough luck there.
We can't talk about this signing without talking about the future of Diego Cavalieri, who's provided the cover for Reina for the past few seasons. He's done well in his appearances, but he was never going to break through and had to be contented with domestic cup competitions. He never whined or complained, but career back-up isn't the aspiration of many.
There were rumors earlier in the summer about Cavalieri departing, and I think this basically cements that he'll be leaving---likely temporary with a view to a full-time move given that the end of the transfer window's quickly approaching. We can't quite eulogize Cavalieri yet, but like I said, the spot of backup for Pepe Reina is perfect for the club to notch another off the homegrown list, and there's no future in that for Cavalieri.
So welcome to Brad Jones, and we'll see what happens in the goalkeeping ranks in the next few weeks. Interesting to find out if Cavalieri still starts in the Europa League---maybe he'll stick around, maybe it's his send-off, or maybe we were going to start seeing Reina anyhow. Considering how Sunday ended, I think getting Pepe back between the sticks as soon as possible would be a good thing.