Liverpool’s search for fresh goalkeeping talent has brought up a new name: Matthew Ryan.
Liverpool are scouting the highly rated Australian No 1 Matthew Ryan, as they consider a long-term solution for their goalkeeper problems. Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, and the Anfield transfer committee are closely monitoring Ryan, who plays his club football for Belgian side Club Brugge. There is no immediate prospect of a bid this month, but a potential summer move is under discussion. Ryan is on international duty with his country at the Asia Cup, where his promise has been widely discussed. Liverpool are among a host of Premier League clubs who have dispatched scouts for the competition held in Australia. Brugge’s former sporting director, Arnar Gretarsson, is among those who believes that Ryan has already determined his future is in the Premier League.
“I don’t see him staying for much longer at Club Brugge. I think he will move to a bigger team, possibly for next season,” Gretarsson said. “I know he would like to go to the Premier League, everybody wants to play in that league, but I could also see him in the Primera Division or the Bundesliga. He definitely has the quality to play in the big three leagues.”
One season in the Belgian Pro League for the Australian number one may not be enough in terms of experience, and two seasons may not suffice in the summer for a player who turns 23 in April. However, the 22-year-old goalkeeper possesses international experience with Australia and featured in all of his country’s three group games at the World Cup last summer. He is currently with his national team in the 2015 Asian Cup where Liverpool scouts are believed to be monitoring Ryan carefully. His pedigree is further enhanced by his Belgium Goalkeeper of the Year award in his first season in European football.
Liverpool’s need for a new goalkeeper is well documented given the problems encountered by Simon Mignolet. The Belgian was dropped earlier this season, only to be recalled due to an injury to Brad Jones. Rodgers is prepared to bide his time in order to get the right man, which is most likely going to be at the end of the season. Although Rodgers would love to sign Petr Cech from Chelsea, there is a feeling that he has already decided to remain in London and is more likely to head to Arsenal.At 22, Ryan would undoubtedly fit the age profile as Liverpool pursue an emerging goalkeeping talent, but the key for Rodgers will be whether the Aussie is as adept with his feet as his hands – something with which Mignolet has struggled.