It’s starting to look like time may be running out on Simon Mignolet’s career at Anfield. The Belgian keeper, who made his debut under Brendan Rodgers in 2013, has lost his starting position to Loris Karius in recent weeks.
It’s been a frustrating run for Mignolet, whose time with Liverpool has been punctuated by some high peaks, but also some very low troughs. It’s been clear that an upgrade has been needed as the defense as a whole struggled to keep the ball out of their own net. When Karius arrived last season, many believed that this marked the end of Mignolet’s time between the sticks, but an unfortunate injury in pre-season for Karius prolonged the inevitable.
Now the 29-year-old Mignolet finds himself on the outside looking in, and while Klopp admits that the player is not happy about it, he’s also praised his professionalism in the face of adversity.
“It is all good internally but of course he is not happy. How could he be? But he accepted the situation and is a fantastic character so he trains at a really high level. Like Wardy (Danny Ward) is doing by the way,” Klopp recently admitted. “They push each other. He was a long time the No 1 and now he is the No 2 but it doesn’t change his attitude in training which is all good.
“Before you turn 40, no goalkeeper is happy to sit on the bench. All three goalkeepers want to play but only one can start. You can’t change the goalkeeper like you change the other outfield players all the time. This is something they have known since they were five or six years old. It’s not easier but there are much bigger problems in the world than this one.”
Karius, for his part, has taken advantage of the consistent opportunities to play and put in some good performances. It’s not yet known whether Karius is the long-term answer to Liverpool’s goalkeeping conundrum, but he’s Klopp’s pick to finish off their league and European runs this season.