Liverpool's goalkeeping woes have been the source of many a grey hair and gnashed tooth over the past few decades, with the only period of genuine stability being Jose Reina's run between 2005-10. Bookending that blessed interval of tranquility has been mayhem, as a gaggle of goalkeepers have tried and failed to cement their place for any stretch of time, resulting in a high turnover at the position. A proclivity for howlers and an ineptitude when dealing with crosses that sets them up for horribly outplayed vampire puns seem to have afflicted every last one of the men tasked with being the club's last line of defense.
These weaknesses have been rearing their head again in recent weeks, as high profile errors from both Simon Mignolet and Adam Bogdan have cost the club goals and points.
As such, red ears are sure to perk up at the news that German second choice Marc-André ter Stegen is supposedly unhappy with his situation at the Camp Nou and is considering his options come summer. Having appeared in only 33 of the club's 88 matches since his €12m transfer 18 months ago, the former Mönchengladbach man is currently firmly second string behind Claudio Bravo, and with Germany producing a glut of gifted goalkeepers, he considers playing time essential to have any chance of overtaking Manuel Neuer as first choice for Die Mannschaft.
This all culminated in a muted celebration after Barca's World Club Cup win, and according to Marca's body and facial language analysts, as well as sources close to the player, ter Stegen may now be looking to move.
Widely considered Germany's second best goalkeeper behind Neuer, ter Stegen ticks a lot of boxes; he has tremendous reflexes, is proactive on the line, and extremely quick to come off it, functioning as a sweeper keeper behind the Blaugrana's high defensive line. What really separates him from peers, though, is his excellent control with the ball at his feet and his distribution, which, long or short, is genuinely world class. With 160 senior appearances at the very top level at age 23, he has already accumulated a wealth of experience, and represents a low-risk known quantity.
Although extremely athletic, his 6'2" frame is not the kind to dominate his box, and the addition of ter Stegen alone would likely not be the solution to The Reds' set piece hardships.
While there is rightly a solid foundation for a discussion about where Simon Mignolet fits in the hierarchy of Premier League goalkeepers, there is little doubt that ter Stegen would be a clear upgrade on the Belgian based on ability alone, and his unique playmaking talents also make him a better fit for the kind of football Liverpool want to play. His age means that he likely has well over a decade left at the top level. If this transfer is at all feasible once the window opens, the club should not hesitate.