Gianluigi Buffon called him ‘one of the greatest goalkeepers in Europe’ and potentially ‘one of the best in the world’; yet such obvious high regard has not helped the most expensive British goalkeeper in history find a new club. He was heavily linked with a move to Southampton last week, with some even considering it a done deal but it seemed to be a case of mistaken identity as Artur Boruc instead signed on the dotted line at St Mary’s and another potential avenue back into the Premier League subsided for the Scottish international.
His injury record is of course a worry to anybody and in the end, compared to the dependable Simon Mignolet and with Kieren Westwood a capable stopper in reserve Gordon never stood a chance of remaining at the Stadium of Light as they trimmed a hefty wage bill.
Yet surely somebody would want to take a punt on the player who’s save against Bolton in 2010 was voted the ‘greatest in Premier League history’ to date beating legends such as Peter Schmeichel, Edwin Van Der Sar, Petr Cech and David Seaman to the coveted title.
It just has not happened for the former Hearts goalkeeper who got me all excited about goalkeeping talent in Scotland when he burst onto the scene with Hearts. As a half-Scottish goalkeeper myself his emergence was a delightful surprise for me on a personal level and I remember being taken aback by his abnormal reaction speed and inconspicuous strength off the line.
The most amazing factor of his game was his penalty saves, a rare example of a keeper who waits for the kicker to make contact with the ball; a testament to his reaction speed is how many of these he would save; including in the Scottish FA Cup Final with Gretna in 2006.
In the Premier League most the teams seem to be settle with a number one stopper and now Southampton have brought in Boruc it would appear his chances there have dissipated. Reading have dropped Adam Federici after poor early form and recent mishaps off the pitch have not helped his position. Alex McCarthy made a mistake against West Brom this weekend and perhaps they may jump at the chance of bringing in this superbly talented player.
If not where else could he go? He could follow suit of the current number one stopper in Scotland Alan McGregor and move abroad. He is thought of fondly in France and Italy after great performances for Scotland against the nations and he has been linked with Udinese and even Lyon as potential a potential successor to Samir Handanovic and Hugo Lloris respectively.
But apart from that the red-tops are thin on the ground with potential destinations for the goalkeeper who made the greatest save in our beloved Premier League’s history, surely somebody will give him a chance on a free transfer?
In case you have forgotten…
image: © crystian cruz