Reports from Chris Bascombe, Andy Hunter, and Dominic King have confirmed that Club Brugge's number one goalkeeper is being assessed by Liverpool with a view to purchasing him in the summer. Mathew Ryan is in his second season in the Belgian Pro League and is a new name linked with a transfer to Liverpool.
One season in the Belgian Pro League for the Australian number one may not be enough in terms of experience, and two seasons may not suffice in the summer for a player who turns 23 in April. However, the 22-year-old goalkeeper possesses international experience with Australia and featured in all of his country's three group games at the World Cup last summer. He is currently with his national team in the 2015 Asian Cup where Liverpool scouts are believed to be monitoring Ryan carefully. His pedigree is further enhanced by his Belgium Goalkeeper of the Year award in his first season in European football.
After rumblings of a possible dream move to Real Madrid at the end of his first season, Ryan continued his progress in Belgium and signed a new four-year-contract in November. A Europa League campaign has been successful, with his side making the knock-out rounds to face Danish opposition in the form of Aalborg BK. Irrespective of what one thinks about the qualities of Liverpool's current first-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Liverpool lack the sufficient depth demanded by even mediocre Premier League sides. This should have been remedied in the summer, but Liverpool are believed to be interested in a number of goalkeepers including Neto and Petr Cech to address the problem. Mignolet has regained his place after being briefly dropped by Brendan Rodgers last month but does not seem to be the long-term answer in the position.
Liverpool's new goalkeeper will need to be more than just an excellent shot stopper to succeed at the club. Distribution, commanding the area, leadership, handling, concentration, aerial ability, communication with defenders, organising the defence, and possessing none of the weaknesses of Simon Mignolet will be required by the next number one. Mathew Ryan is not particularly tall for a goalkeeper but could be someone Liverpool fans will become familiar with in the future. Maybe a start can be made by watching Ryan's performances in the Asian Cup and Europa League to get a closer look at what he can offer the club.