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3 veteran Premier League bit-part keepers for Liverpool man to aspire to

| 23.07.2016

With Liverpool devoid of European football this season to place any real strain on their squad, the easy conclusion to draw is that new goalkeeper Alex Manninger will fail to get a game.

The 39-year-old has joined on a free transfer on a short-term deal, having last played in the Premier League in 2001 for Arsenal in Southampton’s final match The Dell.

He will clearly play third fiddle to Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet in Jurgen Klopp’s goalkeeping ranks and there is the possibility that he will not even make the substitute’s bench all season. Liverpool are 8/1 to win the Premier League.

Richard Wright is another veteran who retired this summer after four years at Manchester City without being called upon to make a first-team appearance.

However, there are examples from the Premier League past of other goalkeepers who appeared to be brought in as squad filler, but ended up being called upon to star on the pitch.

Here are three such former shot stoppers, who continued to showcase their talents in their twilight years:

Mark Schwarzer

The Australian is the only player in Premier League history to have won back-to-back Premier League titles with different clubs after stints as third-choice goalkeeper at firstly Chelsea, and then Leicester.

He spent 18 months with the former, playing some pivotal matches in the first when appearing against Atletico Madrid in a Champions League semi-final and then the crunch Premier League game with Liverpool, remembered for Steven Gerrard’s slip.

For Leicester, he made six appearances in his first half-season to help in their quest for survival, until being reduced to League Cup games last term.

Nigel Martyn

Martyn signed for Everton as a 37-year-old in 2003 to fill the role as understudy to Richard Wright, but was quickly called upon early in the same campaign when the first choice picked up an injury.

The veteran was so good that he ended up retaining his place and was David Moyes’ regular goalkeeper for three seasons.

He played close to 100 games in the end and helped the club to their best ever Premier League finish of fourth.

Jens Lehmann

Having already spent five years with Arsenal between 2003 and 2008, Lehmann came out of retirement on a rolling short-term contract in 2011 when a goalkeeping injury crisis was on the horizon.

Arsene Wenger’s fears became reality soon after when Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone were sidelined and then Manuel Almunia was injured in the warm up ahead of an away fixture with Blackpool.

The Gunners went on to win 3-1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.