In a recent interview (via MilanNews.it), on-loan Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina provided an update on his future when he said, “I will not hang up my gloves. I feel I still have two years at high levels, I will return to Milan because I have another year of contract. But in football one day you can say something, in the following week you can be somewhere else.”
Reina’s Incredible Loan Spell At Villa Park
The Spanish custodian had recently experienced a heroic loan spell with the Villans in the Premier League after his parent club AC Milan decided to loan him out of Italy back in January. His return to English football was initially quite tough and challenging. Still, Reina managed to end his season on the highest of highs by helping the West Midlands outfit avoid relegation on the final day of this Premier League campaign.
The 37-year-old has produced a couple of impressive performances during his loan spell at Villa Park. He has made 12 appearances for Dean Smith’s side in the English top-flight, conceding 21 goals and earning two clean sheets across all competitions. His stats have been far from convincing, but the Spaniard has done well to average 1.0 clearances and 8.4 long balls per game in the Premier League this season (stats via whoscored).
The ex-Liverpool custodian is also vastly experienced at the international stage, having earned 38 senior caps for the Spanish national team so far. At 37, Reina might still have a couple of good years left in his locker to play at a high level.
What Will The Spanish Shot-Stopper Bring To The Table?
Reina can use his experience to read the game well and deal with the danger whenever called into action. He has a safe pair of hands and is usually quite strong when coming off his lines to collect the ball in the air. What makes the Spaniard such a reliable presence in goal is his strong character and his knack for making a few incredible stops at the back using his quick reflexes and football IQ. However, father time is catching up with his game, so Reina won’t be a long-term solution to Villa’s recent goalkeeping problems even if they can land him permanently this summer.
Should The Villans Sign Reina Permanently This Summer?
Recruiting a keeper of Reina’s experience will undeniably be a shrewd short-term move for the Villans ahead of the new season. He has proven his worth as a top goalie to the Villa supporters over the past seven months and some might say that he deserves a chance to shine again in the Premier League next season. Dean Smith should consider orchestrating a move to seal Reina’s services on a short-term contract as he would find it difficult to get a suitable replacement for the experienced Spaniard this summer.
The Madrid-born talent could potentially help the Villans steer clear of the relegation zone if he can maintain his high standards in the upcoming campaign. Hence, the Villans should take a calculated gamble on him by bringing him to Villa Park during the summer transfer period.
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