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Villarreal finally ‘decide’ on Geronimo Rulli replacement amid Pepe Reina uncertainty

Croatian World Cup start linked with the Spanish club.


I know this will be a great shock to everyone, but when you start a 40 year old in goal you are always going to be linked with new keepers. In this case, it’s Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic. He has had a lot of success with his national team, but he has never played in a top five league so how you feel about this link is probably going to be related to how much international football you watch and whether you think players in their late 20s can make the jump to big leagues.

Dinamo Zagreb lead their league table and also have conceded the fewest goals of anyone in their league, they also beat Chelsea in this year’s Champions League group stage, and drew RB Salzburg. I believe it’s safe to say that Livakovic’s team is a competitive level but most of his competition this season has not been.

For my part, if a player has not made the jump to a top league by the time he’s 23 or 24 I usually want nothing to do with him. If a player makes that move while he’s still growing and developing, I believe he is more able to adapt to the higher level requirements, but a player who is 28 is fully formed and developed and learning to think and process at the pace and level of a top two league in the world is a big big ask. I know that his time with Croatia has him highly rated by many, and I can see the argument, but it is not for me.