Another game another error (mixed in with some outstanding saves), Simon Mignolet the current owner of the goalkeeping gloves at Liverpool FC. This piece looks at whether he can become a top goalkeeper worthy of a club who have ambitions to pursue honours or is he destined to move onto club with lesser ambitions or less expectations on a player.
The Belgian international joined Liverpool from Sunderland in June 2013 for a fee reported to be £9 million. The player had a good season at Sunderland, and the decision was made by the club to bring him into the club to replace a respected goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who Liverpool decided to move on.
Many fans instantly were unhappy with the decision to replace Reina, who had made a few errors himself over the years, but was seen as a strong established goalkeeper, who was very athletic, very quick off his line on one on ones with opposition strikers and in my opinion, one of the best footballing goalkeepers we have seen in the Premier League. Outstanding with his feet, very good distribution which seemed to fit in with the game plan Liverpool had of building up from the back.
Mignolet came into the side and even though you could see he was a decent shot stopper, his nervousness on crosses, taking control of his defence, being authoritive, and his distribution almost immediately was called into question.
He does make some excellent saves a lot of them being important saves at crucial times in games, only last weekend is a great example of this, but I do not know if it is confidence, self doubt or just inconsistency of performances, he has an error seemingly just waiting around the corner, as was shown with the Fernandinho goal again on the weekend, that shot should never get past him, and for a so called top goalkeeper happens way too often.
I can only imagine how I would feel with a goalkeeper behind me who is showing the form Mignolet is and has shown for a period of time now, especially if which is the case, the defence is also struggling to find form and consistency, which is evidenced by the chopping and changing Jurgen Klopp has made with his defence, some due to injuries, some just down to lack of confidence in certain players.
In closing for me the worst bit of business, Liverpool did in the January transfer window was to give Mignolet an extension on his contract of 5 years and a reported increase in his salary. For me this sends the wrong message through the club, I appreciate he is still only 27 years of age, so still relatively young for a goalkeeper, and they may feel with a contract of 5 years it will preserve his selling on price in the summer or not to distant future so looking at more of a business strategy rather than a playing one, in terms of finance.
For me he is simply not good enough for a club full of ambition, striving to be back at the summit of English football. I do not see now at his age enough potential to progress into a top goalkeeper in this league, and he either moves into a number two back up keeper role at the club or this summer is moved onto pastures new.
What are your thoughts?
Article by @Muncey05