Pep Guardiola has arrived at Manchester City and he is certainly showing a ruthless streak already with some of his selections.
Amongst those players to be cast aside is Joe Hart. The 29-year-old hasn’t had the best of years has he? An abysmal Euro 2016 and now being dropped from the Manchester City side, Hart’s career is heading the wrong way and he seriously needs to jump ship. Amongst those interested in the services of Hart are Everton and Liverpool, according to Sky Sports who have Everton as slight favourites for Hart’s signature, with Liverpool close behind. They do not substantiate their claims that Liverpool are battling with Everton, but merely suggest that the two clubs are favourites. We tried to find any substance for Sky’s reasoning to place Liverpool as 2nd favourites, but there doesn’t appear to be any concrete sources linking the move yet. Sevilla have also been attributed with interest.
So who needs him more? Obviously if Hart were to move he would want to be guaranteed first team football as that is his reason for considering his future at City currently, according to the BBC.
First, the case for Everton – despite signing Maarten Stekelenburg this summer, who impressed in the Premier League’s opening weekend, the club still lack top quality between the sticks and I think it would be fair to say that Hart would provide an improvement on what the club have already got. Hart is also homegrown, an English international with a wealth of experience, that would be welcome to an Everton back five that lacked shape and discipline last season. Stekelenburg was impressive in his first outing, but does he have the ability to be consistently that good? His checkered past in the Premier League would suggest otherwise and it wouldn’t surprise me if Ronald Koeman was keen to bring in the England international considering his sudden availability.
What about Liverpool? Like Everton they have signed a new goalkeeper this summer, Loris Karius. They also tied down current keeper Simon Mignolet to a new long-term contract last season, not the clubs most popular decision it has to be said. I cannot realistically see Jurgen Klopp wanting to splash £20million on a goalkeeper when he has already committed to two players in that position in 2016. It remains to be seen how good Karius is, but surely Hart would be an upgrade on Mignolet? Even though Hart is prone to an error from time to time, I think that time does not come around as often as it seems to for Mignolet.
The problem for both clubs as they look to get rid of the errors that have haunted them in previous seasons, is that Hart is prone to an error himself. The stats show though, that Hart made 1 error leading to a goal last season, despite playing one less game, Mignolet made a catastrophic 4. Hart managed to made an impressive 1.91 saves per goal last season whereas Mignolet managed just 1.27. In fact, in the six areas we looked at when comparing the duo, it was only in disibution accuracy where the Belgian stopper came out on top. The Liverpool man was accurate with 66% of his distribution last season, Hart was behind on 59%.
The latest suggests that Hart would initially favour a loan move away from the club as he does not currently want to make a decision on where his long-term future lies. In terms of who would be more likely to make a loan bid, perhaps it would be Liverpool, who may be looking to temporarily cover for Loris Karius, although it seems Liverpool’s summer signing is making a return quicker than expected.
So the statistics are on Hart’s side, but Liverpool and Everton fans, I’d love to know if you would actually want Hart at your club? Is he good enough and worth the rumoured £20million asking price? Comment below or tweet us @FreshFootball to share your thoughts.