Joe Hart vs Schmeichel
Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp will be happy that the team were back to winning ways after the Bournemouth disaster earlier this season. The manager took note of the mistakes the team was making in those games and decided to replace the first choice shot stopper Loris Karius, with the error-prone Simon Mignolet on goal after the German youngster failed to put in commanding performances early in his Liverpool career. The goalkeeping problem at the club is quite evident now and Jurgen Klopp is now adamant that he wants to change this situation. A number of top class keepers have been linked with a move to the club but two names that are likely to move to Anfield are Kasper Schmeichel from Leicester City and Joe Hart from Manchester City.
On the face of it, both players are an upgrade on the current crop of players at the club. The Leicester City man was influential in his team’s fairy tale title winning season last time around and he is now one of the most experienced shot stoppers in England. Joe Hart on the other hand, is the first choice shot-stopper for England but was deemed surplus to requirements by Pep Guardiola at the Etihad that saw him make a loan move to Torino where he is the first choice. But who suits Liverpool better?
According to the stats, the duo are almost inseparable. While Joe Hart has kept 4 clean sheets compared to Schmeichel’s 2 in the domestic season, Hart has let in 23 goals while the Leicester City man has let in just the 12 goals this season. The defenses of the side may have an effect on this number but other stats are also not enough to separate the two. Schmeichel has made just 36 saves this season but he has made 2.77 saves per goal in the Premier League. Joe Hart on the other hand, has made 43 saves this season but he has made just 1.87 saves per goal in Italy.
Moving on, Hart has a better distribution rate which stands at 69% while Schmeichel has an accuracy of 51% which puts him at a disadvantage. The Leicester City man catches 3.60 balls per 90 minutes in the Premier League while Joe Hart holds on to just 2.69 of the air balls this season. As already mentioned, both players have experience of winning the title that might make a difference for Liverpool come the end of the season.
A lot of the Reds’ fans are scared that Joe Hart is not a drastic improvement on the current situation. The first choice English shot stopper has in the past shown nerves in crunch games that cost his side and Liverpool supporters would want to avoid such a situation in the future. On the other hand, Schmeichel is one of the safest goalkeepers around and is hardly prone to errors. He might have a nervy moment or two but in general, he is as solid as they get. Hart is a better shot stopper with better reflexes and also has age on his side while Schmeichel has experience on his side.
Liverpool need a goalkeeper who can walk into the first team and help one or two of the current keepers in the squad regain their confidence. Joe Hart is desperate for a return to the Premier League but a price tag of £20m might scare Liverpool away and might be the only area where Schmeichel is a better option for the Reds. Both players have the ability to make Liverpool a stronger side and who do you think will make them title winners?