If you look at the list of Premier League winners and the players who have collected winner’s medals over the years, one of the stand out things you would notice is the quality of goalkeepers who have been at the heart of teams to claim the ultimate prize in English football.
Peter Schmeichel, David Seaman, Edwin Van der Sar, Petr Cech, to name but a few; all quality goalkeepers that have no doubt been crucial to their team winning the Premier League.
The names Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius will never join that list. If Liverpool want to end their 27-year wait for an English title then they must start by signing a goalkeeper that could walk into any side in Europe and one who would command the back four like Schmeichel and Cech have done over the years.
Liverpool are on course to concede 50 goals again this season, while the back four will get the blame for this, the lack of a commanding figure in goal for the club leads to the chaos we have seen on occasion this season.
It is said you need a striker capable of scoring 20 plus goals a season to be in with a shout of winning the title, it is just as important to have a reliable man between the posts.
Jurgen Klopp has rightly so defended his goalkeepers this season following criticism from Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher, among others. He, however must address this long-standing issue at Liverpool this summer or continue to be on the outside looking in regarding title success.
We take a look at five goalkeepers Klopp should target this summer to get Liverpool firmly in the race for domestic honours next season.
1. Joe Hart
The two time Premier League winner has been deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester City and is unlikely to sign a permanent deal with current club Torino.
If, following his loan move in Italy, the England number one wishes to return to the Premier League at the highest level then Liverpool are likely to be his only destination should he wish to join a club with title ambitions.
It seems like the perfect match, with Jurgen Klopp lacking a vocal, commanding goalkeeper and Hart looking for a new club in the Premier League.
A reported transfer fee of around £2om should not deter Liverpool who reportedly will have cash to spend this summer.
Hart turns 30 next month and as a goalkeeper has many years left in him yet.
2. Fraser Forster
The Southampton goalkeeper continues to impress and is pushing Joe Hart all the way for the England No.1 jersey.
Having made a name for himself at Celtic, the 28-year-old has gone from strength to strength at Southampton and has attracted interest from a host of top clubs.
The goalkeeper has Champions League experience and caught the eye in Celtic’s historic victory over Barcelona in 2012.
The player was outstanding in the two-legged EFL Cup Semi Final win over Liverpool, making a miraculous save at Anfield. Southampton got all the way to the final of that competition without conceding a goal.
Forster was unlucky to be on the losing side in the Wembley showpiece and kept his side in the game with a host of fine saves after coming from 2-0 down to draw the game only for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to steal it late on.
At 6ft 7in Forester commands his area well and following a bad injury last year, the goalkeeper appears to have put that nightmare behind him.
3. Kasper Schmeichel
Having a ‘Schmeichel’ as the number one at Anfield might not go down too well for obvious reasons, but the Leicester City goalkeeper is building a reputation in the game that finally earns him the respect to be judged on his own merits and not because of who his father is.
The 30-year-old is a Premier League winner after Leicester’s surprise success last season and his penalty saves in the Champions League last 16 win over Sevilla ensured the Foxes will progress to the quarter finals.
With Leicester currently in a relegation battle and the prospect of Champions League football non-existent next season, unless they can continue the miracle and win the competition this season, then the likelihood is Schmeichel will have to leave the club if he is to continue at the highest level.
Like Joe Hart, if the Danish international wishes to continue in the Premier League as a number one with a title contender, then currently, Liverpool will be his only option.
4. Jan Oblak
Unlike the other three on the list, Oblak has no Premier League experience but the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper has plenty of big game experience having left Benfica for Atletico in 2014 to replace Thibaut Courtois who returned to Chelsea.
The 24-year-old has huge experience for one so young in goalkeeping terms and has played in the 2013/14 Europa League Final with Benfica and the 2015/16 Champions League Final with Atletico Madrid, unfortunately runner-up in both.
The Slovenian did however claim the best goalkeeper in La Liga award in 2015/16 as well as being named in the UEFA Champions League squad of the season in the same year.
Oblak continues to be linked with the top clubs and will be in demand should he become available.
5. Asmir Begovic
The Chelsea goalkeeper is in line to win the Premier League this season but with Thibaut Courtois occupying the number one jersey, it is unlikely the former Stoke City man is not going to dislodge the Belgian anytime soon.
At just 29 years of age the Bosnian is too young to be a back-up goalkeeper and was rumoured to be interested in Bournemouth last January.
While it’s hard to judge the player’s form given that he has spent the majority of the season on the bench, we can look to the form of the goalkeeper at Stoke City, where at times he was outstanding and fully deserved his move to Stamford Bridge.
Although there are better targets ahead of Begovic, the 6ft 6in goalkeeper would be an improvement on both Mignolet and Karius and has the experience and qualities Klopp should be looking for.
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena