Simon Mignolet has never been the calibre of goalkeeper many Liverpool fans hope to see between the sticks for the club, but the Belgian international has done a more than serviceable job in his two seasons on Merseyside. Despite having a rough patch midway through last year, Mignolet still managed to go toe-to-toe with the Premier League's best net minders in the quest for the Golden Gloves, although he ultimately fell short of that particular accolade.
When Brad Jones usurped Mignolet for top spot and promptly performed poorly before eventually getting injured, calls for better competition for Mignolet only grew louder. Hopes that Liverpool would purchase a world class keeper were dashed when instead they signed Adam Bogdan, who though he's sure to be a man of many talents, he'd be an unlikely choice to be first choice at any of Europe's top clubs. Still, Mignolet is pleased to have a new back up now that Jones has departed, and the two have already exchanged some friendly #topbantz about their shared ambitions.
"It’s been nice getting to know Adam and I’ve been working with him throughout the week," Mignolet said in an interview with the Liverpool ECHO. "We’re both part of the goalies’ union and I’ll try to help him to settle in. He said he’s here to compete to be No 1 and I see that as a positive thing.
"Having somebody there to compete and drive you on makes you stronger. We need competition throughout the squad and he will give us that. Competition is every position is important to push individuals to the highest level of their performance."
Fans will continue to wait with bated breath for more tales from the goalies' union, but in the mean time it's kind of Mignolet to humour the idea that Bogdan is true competition for him. Barring another period of poor play like he experienced last season, there's little reason to believe Mignolet hasn't already been anointed Brendan Rodgers' knocked on starter for league and other important matches. All of that is in the past, though, as Mignolet and his colleagues try to regroup for the kick off of the new season next month.
"It wasn’t nice to end on that note [last season] but it’s in the past now and we need to look forwards to this season," Mignolet continued. "Everyone learned a lot from last season, especially the young players. We got to the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and the League Cup and we’ll be stronger and better for it this season."
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