Liverpool’s Goalkeeper Conundrum

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Simon Mignolet, Loris Karius and Danny Ward all believe that they should be the number one goalkeeper at the football club. Each have their respective strengths and weaknesses. At the moment, it is looking more and more likely that rotation between all three is the plan for Jurgen Klopp this season. But is this fair and who should really be the number one goalie at the club?

Many fans have had their views on this matter:

Based on last season (2016/2017) and league games only: Mignolet played 28 games in total and kept 9 clean sheets. He conceded on average 1.07 goals a game. Karius played the remaining 10 games and kept 3 clean sheets. He conceded on average 1.20 goals a game. Danny Ward was on loan at Huddersfield Town in the Championship last season. He played 43 of the 46 games and kept 12 clean sheets. He conceded on average 1.12 goals a game.

These stats are virtually meaningless as Klopp is a stubborn man and his set in his own ways. Those ways and plans suggest that all three goalies will play in certain games and competitions this season.

Many football clubs have tried this scenario for the past few seasons with varying degrees of success. Barcelona have rotated Ter Stegen and Cillessen for League and Champions League games. Manchester United last season rotated Sergio Romero (Europa League) and David De Gea (League games).

Klopp has stated this season that Mignolet is his number one goalkeeper but that did not stop him from playing Karius against Arsenal in the league. Some fans are in favour of all three keepers getting a run out this season. However, like others I have my reservations about this scenario.

By rotating the keepers, their form and confidence will begin to suffer. This is evident by Karius shaky display against Arsenal before the International break. Too many times during that game, he was hesitant to release the ball and start attacks quickly. Eventually, it got so bad that the Anfield faithful started getting on his back with every touch. Mignolet’s form and confidence may also suffer through-out the season if he feels let down by Klopp. Karius was signed by Klopp and Mignolet deep down knows that his days as Liverpool’s Number 1 are numbered.

Every top player wants to play Champions League football. This is no different for Mignolet and Ward. Liverpool worked really hard last season to fight to get into a Top 4 position on the table. That hard work paid off by us reaching the group stages of this year’s Champions League. Currently, Karius is in position to be The Reds Champions League goalkeeper. However, on current form Mignolet is the better keeper between the two. I would love for us to go far in this competition and many fans believe that we can. Klopp should play our best keeper in this tough competition and not the second choice one for now. The Champions League is the pinnacle of European Club football, we need to make sure that we don’t disrespect it and take this chance for granted.

The Danny Ward scenario is quite frustrating as well. Ward is the same age as Karius and both still can develop and improve. At least, one of them should off gone out on loan this season to gain first team football in the Premier League. In time, both keepers can have really good careers. At this moment, Danny Wards progress is being halted especially without regular playing time. He will not sit quite for much longer unless he gets more minutes this season.

With the transfer window closed, these next few months will be interesting to see how the Goalkeeper situation plays out. I imagine that none of the three will sit back and be quite for long. Klopp could have a major headache soon.

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