A summer once reserved for an ongoing debate about Andy Carroll (RIP GACD of 2013) has now shifted to Pepe Reina, with Simon Mignolet suddenly a major player in the Spaniard's future. Brendan Rodgers' discussion of the deal for the Sunderland man was accompanied by a brief snippet about the frank and open conversation he had with his current number one to making a move for another goalkeeper, citing a need for competition at a position that's been devoid of a true challenge for the starting spot for years. That's been cause for concern, especially among those of us who continue to hold a sentimental spot for Reina, but if the player's words on Saturday are anything to go off of, that concern is unneeded.
Speaking to the press ahead of Spain's Confederations Cup victory over Nigeria in the final match of group play, Reina addressed questions about Mignolet's arrival and its impact on his Liverpool future:
"It has not changed a bit. I have said it many times, I'm very comfortable and very happy at Liverpool. Every team needs competitors, and when it's positive, it is more than welcome. If it is finally done, I'll welcome him a lot and anything he needs, I'm here."
I'm simultaneously nervous and excited about this situation--nervous because a player I really like might be on his way out, driven by the idea that two top-class goalkeepers can't possibly agree to a situation in which neither is promised a consistent run as the solid number one. The excitement is what I'm mostly entertaining right now, though, as the thought of a fully motivated and challenged Pepe Reina reclaiming the form that had him among the Premier League's best is too enticing to ignore.
Maybe it's unrealistic or too tied to sentiment, but two top-level goalkeepers working to prove themselves in a side trying to re-establish a place among the league's best is a mighty fine problem to have.