With six La Liga title victories, three Champions League winners’ medals and a couple of Copa del Reys to his name, you’d think former Barcelona netminder supreme Victor Valdes would have a new club by now, however injured he is.
The free agent was expected to sign for Liverpool, where he’d surely walk into the first XI ahead of current Anfield number one Simon Mignolet, but news that Valdes has taken up an offer from old boss Louis van Gaal to train with Manchester United is intriguing.
A United move for the Catalonian custodian would likely be a huge blow to Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, considering the clear gap in quality between Valdes and the Reds’ current keeper.
Spain’s long-time number two is completing his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury, which has kept him out of action since late March, and while there’s little talk of Valdes signing on at Old Trafford just yet, the option is reportedly up for discussion.
It’s clear from the above numbers, provided by Squawka.com with regard to the pair’s league form last term, that Barca’s former stalwart had a much better 2013/14 campaign than Mignolet, beating the Belgium international in each of the important metrics.
Despite the perception that La Liga is a far weaker league than England’s top-flight, with clean sheets easier to attain, Valdes posted a higher saves-per-game ratio than Mignolet, and a vastly superior saves-per-goal average.
Those stats, in particular, strongly suggest that the ex-Sunderland man would lose his place if Rodgers can bring in Valdes, although that’s looking less and less likely after the Spaniard’s sojourn with Liverpool’s hated rivals.
Mignolet has managed just one shut-out in his last 21 appearances for the Reds, both of them coming against Spurs, which is a large part of the reason Hull are as short as 11/20 to notch when Steve Bruce’s side visit Anfield next.