While still undoubtedly Brendan Rodgers’ number one, the reliance on the Spaniard has gradually lessened in recent months.
Witness the win over Norwich City. It wasn’t so long ago the absence of Reina would have prompted furrowed brows on the faces of Liverpool supporters. Last Saturday, however, the sight of Brad Jones between the sticks barely raised an eyebrow.
Jones has proven a more than able deputy and his performances have most likely given Reina food for thought.
So too, it must be said, for Fenway Sports Group, given the goalkeeper’s lucrative contract doesn’t fit within the latest version of their great Anfield blueprint.
Reina’s struggle for form and the appearance of uncharacteristically sloppy mistakes can be traced back to the departure of Rafael Benitez as manager in the summer of 2010 and the ensuing upheaval on the pitch, in the boardroom and among the coaching staff – not least the specialist goalkeeping role – from which the club are still attempting to recover.
Rumours, then, that Reina is on Barcelona’s shortlist to replace Victor Valdes will intrigue.
Certainly, Reina’s father was in no doubt his son would be open to a return to the club where he began his career. If true, it would appear a no-brainer. Nobody would forgive Reina if, after eight years, he decided to return home.
For now, though, Reina has to ensure his recently-broken nose isn’t put out of joint again this season.
NOTE to Premier League chairmen.
Want to know how to turn your team from plucky underdogs to one everybody would love to see relegated?
Then please contact Nicola Cortese c/o Southampton FC, St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton.