Adam Johnson lined it up from the right channel, just outside Liverpool's box. Perfect position for a left-footer, really, even if the wall was positioned to cover and provide Simon Mignolet enough daylight to see the flight of the ball. A hard low hit that curled, and curled, and curled, all the way beyond Simon Mignolet's late sprawl to his left, and into the net. Mignolet had a bad day at the office. And if we're honest, Mignolet's been having a bad season at the office.
Enter German Bernd Leno. The 23 year old goalkeeper starts for Bayer Leverkusen, and has done for the previous few years. A snap shot stopper, a physical specimen, and a calm beyond his years, Leno is the sort of marshal from the back that any team would like building a defense around.
The exact level of the player may be arguable--is he better than Marc-Andre Ter Stegen? Could he be? The exact price will certainly be, as well--as a young talent at a position that is constantly of need, Leno will not be short of suitors in England, and that sort of demand may drive up the ultimate price.
One thing that doesn't seem to be in doubt is that this is a guy with more raw tools, more physical tools, a better track record, and much more impressive recent form than Liverpool's Simon Mignolet. And while the Belgian has a freshly minted five year deal to keep him warm at night, it is not hard to imagine Klopp, the transfer committee, and fans all welcoming a move for Leno--or a Leno type--in the summer.
Unsubstantiated as of yet, in terms of specific connection to Liverpool, but it doesn't take a genius to connect need and opportunity here between the concerned parties. Watch this space.