Liverpool have been linked to the signing of Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto for months now, with the Daily Express announcing this week that the Reds maintain strong interest in signing the player.
The Brazilian’s deal expires in the summer, meaning an exorbitant transfer fee would not be required, and with Brad Jones also out of contract at the end of the season, Liverpool are dearly in need of a new man between the sticks. Simon Mignolet was dropped for a series of mistakes earlier in the season, but with Jones failing to impress in his stead, the Belgian was restored to the starting XI, and has looked far more solid since.
Mignolet could do with some better competition though, as dropping him was clearly a wake-up call, and it’s therefore understandable that Liverpool would look to improve their goalkeeping department.
However, Neto is not necessarily the answer.
The keeper has made several high profile mistakes this season, including one on Thursday night in the semi-finals of the Europa League, and some of his errors really ought to raise alarm bells for Rodgers.
Against Cesena in December 2014, Neto displayed an astonishing lack of concentration. The ball is headed back to him by his own defender, meaning he has the option to simply pick it up.
Instead, he lets the ball roll over his foot, and beyond him into an empty net. It was a mistake that ought to be ironed out at youth level, and never seen in the professional game.
Last month, he failed to hold a tame shot from Verona star Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, which should have been caught comfortably. To make matters worse, he fumbled it forward into the path of the onrushing attacker Mounir Obbadi, who was able to tap in from close range. All keepers are taught that if they can’t catch the ball, they should push it away from the goal to either side. Here, Neto did not adhere to that golden rule, and with the goal coming in injury time, the game was lost in that instant.
Against Sevilla in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals, the Brazilian made the astonishing decision to try to predict the direction of Aleix Vidal as he ran clear on goal. Neto dived to protect his far post, gambling that the Spaniard would aim for that side, but his guess was wrong. Vidal was able to simply hit the shot into the empty middle of the goal.
Aside from the mistakes, Neto doesn’t compare well to Mignolet statistically either.
According to Squawka, the Fiorentina star has only kept nine clean sheets in Serie A to Mignolet’s 14, makes just 1.57 saves per goal to Mignolet’s 1.9, has only made nine successful punches to Mignolet’s 36, and 63 catches to Mignolet’s 71.
Although available as a free transfer, Neto is not the right option for Liverpool this summer.