Well, well, well. Simon Mignolet—who was heavily criticised by Jamie Carragher yesterday—has signed a new contract until 2021, confirming Jürgen Klopp's support for the talented but inconsistent stopper. Klopp has consistently spoken in support for Liverpool's first-choice goalkeeper even going as far as describing the Belgian as "one of the smartest" goalkeepers the 48-year-old has come across in his career.
Since joining Liverpool from Sunderland for a fee of £9 million in June 2013, Mignolet has made 122 appearances for Merseyside's finest and was the Premier League's clean sheet king of 2015. The 27-year-old is in his third season at the club and shared his reaction to committing his long-term future to the club.
"I’m very pleased that I can be at Anfield and a part of Liverpool for a long future. I’m happy to commit my future to LFC," Mignolet told the official site. "I know signing a new contract comes with new responsibility. I’m getting older as well and coming into the years where people would say those are the years a ‘keeper is at his best.
"I know with a long-term contract, you get more responsibility – and I want to take up that role because I’m the sort of character that wants to be a leader, wants to speak in the dressing room and wants to help the defence.
"I’ll try to work hard together with the goalkeeping coach and staff here, who are behind me and have given their confidence with a new contract. I would like to thank them for that – but you can’t really do that with words, you have to do that with performances on the pitch. And that’s what I’ll try to show."
Hopefully Mignolet will find more consistency with the security of a new contract and seemingly unstinting confidence from Liverpool's charismatic manager. Danny Ward is back at the club from a successful loan at Aberdeen and has leapfrogged the unconvincing Adam Bogdan as Liverpool's second-choice goalkeeper. Now it's all about what Mignolet mentioned—"performances on the pitch"—for the remainder of the season and beyond.