Simon Mignolet is in the thick of the race for the Golden Gloves, awarded each year to the Premier League shot stopper with the most clean sheets. There isn’t much separating the frontrunners, as Mignolet is level with City’s Joe Hart, Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski, and Southampton’s Fraser Forster on 13 while Thibaut Courtois nips at their heels with 12.
There’s a decent chance that at least one of the four frontrunners will add two to their tally and take the award cleanly, but it seems just as likely at least two will end the year level, and Mignolet wants a little help from the FA to give him a leg up. That’s because while he and the other three leaders all have completed 13 games as clean sheets, Mignolet also backstopped Liverpool to most of a 14th.
After being benched in December, it took an early injury to Brad Jones against Burnley for Mignolet to be returned to the starting lineup. And on the day he returned, coming on for Jones after 15 minutes, Liverpool earned a 1-0 victory. Mignolet believes that having played most of a game that Liverpool won in a shutout should mean he is officially awarded an extra clean sheet.
"At the moment I’m joint top, but we have asked a question about the Burnley game when I played for 75 minutes but it hasn’t been recognised as a clean sheet," said the Belgian. "If the man of the match is subbed after 75 minutes, he’s still the man of the match. As I’ve always said that you get clean sheets as a team and defend as a team, I think it would be great for the whole defence if we can win it."
It seems unlikely that Mignolet would be awarded an extra clean sheet at this stage, and if he was, surely there would be complaints from other clubs—particularly if Mignolet ended up level with another on top of the clean sheet list at the end of the season following the awarding of an extra shutout for the Burnley match. Mignolet, though, might have a case for those 75 minutes giving him a tie-breaker.
Following a difficult start to the season and his benching in December, Mignolet has had a superb second half of the season and was recently named player of the season by Liverpool’s ex-players.