Steve Nicol has reacted to reports by Wales Online that claimed Liverpool are interested in Neil Etheridge. And the ESPNFC pundit has urged Jurgen Klopp to go after the Cardiff City keeper, who has impressed the onlookers with his performances in the recently concluded Premier League campaign.
“I think this would be a good signing. I think the 69 goals he let in, he probably had no chance with 55 of them, let’s be honest,” Nicol said during an ESPNFC show.
Etheridge has been one of the best ‘keepers in the league
Etheridge has been the only bright spot in an otherwise disastrous campaign for Cardiff City this past season. The Bluebirds ended the Premier League campaign third bottom on the league table, conceding 69 goals.
Etheridge’s service in between the sticks was critical in minimising the defensive frailties, to some extent, at least. He has averaged 3.6 saves per game, totalling 138 saves – a tally only bettered by Lukasz Fabianski. He also made 95 saves from inside the penalty area, which is indicative of his quick reflexes. The tally, in itself, is the highest in the league.
Furthermore, three of his saves have come from penalties, which is joint highest in the league along with Everton’s Jordan Pickford. He has also saved 67 percent of shots on target, helping Cardiff conceded fewer goals than they already did.
Is Etheridge a good option for Liverpool?
Liverpool could be devoid of goalkeeping options next season amid reports linking Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet with a move away from Anfield. And that leaves the Reds with Alisson as their only reliable option in between the sticks.
Etheridge, thus, would be an excellent back-up for the Brazilian international – making him a smart addition to the Liverpool side. However, a transfer to Anfield might not be a prudent decision from the player, who, after an impressive season at Cardiff, will hope to continue receiving proper game-time. But, he will also look to remain in the Premier League.
Hence, a move to somewhere like Aston Villa or Bournemouth might be a more logical option for the 29-year-old next season. Etheridge could provide some much-needed competition for Orjan Nyland at the Villa Park next season.
As for Bournemouth, they will be looking for a new goalkeeper amid reports suggesting that Asmir Begovic will leave the club this summer while Artur Boruc will 40 next season, meaning the Cardiff City ‘keeper will have no real difficulties in walking into Bournemouth’s number one slot.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored
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