Liverpool reportedly swoop for Mexico hero keeper Guillermo Ochoa
Premier League 5/1 top four chances Liverpool have agreed to sign goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa from Malaga in January for £3m, according to tabloid reports.
With the Mexico World Cup star yet to play in La Liga for his new club, as Cameroon’s Carlos Kameni is back in favour with the Spanish side, and Reds stopper Simon Mignolet out of form, Brendan Rodgers has seemingly pounced for Ochoa.
The Northern Irishman recently stated that Belgian Mignolet, who sat out of the 3-0 loss to Manchester United, is dropped from the first team “for an indefinite period” in favour of Australian Brad Jones.
For Ochoa, meanwhile, it is not a case of being out of form, but just lacking game time, with the 28-year-old being restricted to only one Copa del Rey appearance, in a 1-1 draw with Deportivo La Coruna earlier this month.
If the reports are true, then Rodgers has got himself a real bargain, with the Mexico international one of the bright spots of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Ochoa, who was linked with Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer following his release form French side Ajaccio, put in an impressive display to hold hosts Brazil to a 0-0 draw in the group stages. He earned the Man of the Match award for his outstanding saves, with one in particular from Neymar’s header likened to Gordon Banks’ stop against Pele in 1970.
The Mexico keeper, whose nation is managed by the exuberant and eccentric Miguel Herrera, also produced a clean sheet against Cameroon, and almost helped his side to a win over the Netherlands in the last 16. However, two late goals knocked the Aztecs out, but again Ochoa was given Man of the Match. The stopper and Herrera produced perhaps one of the most memorable pictures of the World Cup after the final group game win over Croatia.
Liverpool are currently down in 11th in the Premier League, seven points off the top four, but in desperate need of someone to stop goals against them flying in.
Rodgers may be inspired by Man Utd keeper David de Gea, who has played behind a shaky defence all term, but almost single handedly helped the Red Devils move up to third in the table.
If Ochoa can produce some wonder saves like De Gea, or how he did at the World Cup, it could give the rest of team regained confidence. Unlike the Spain star, though, the Mexican does not possess the same handling or ball-playing skills, but his reflexes and shot-stopping ability is unquestionable.