At the end of the 2015-16 season, Simon Mignolet had played 149 games for Liverpool. Though there had been some early promise and hopes that he would grow into the role, he struggled to command his own area and his save percentage had dropped to the point where even his strongest attribute wasn’t very strong.
He had been judged to not be the long-term answer in goal for the club and Jürgen Klopp went out to sign a young German goalkeeper, a project. Loris Karius came in, and even if he didn’t appear an instant upgrade on Mignolet, he was Klopp’s man for the future. Or at least that’s what everybody assumed was the case.
Today, though, Mignolet finds himself shoved back into the spotlight following two poor games from Karius that have seen the goalkeeper playing a key role in six goals conceded and five points dropped against West Ham and Bournemouth. That he has struggled in recent weeks is a point that’s hard to argue.
Yet to hear some of the cries for Mignolet’s return would be to ignore the 149 Liverpool games he had over three seasons to prove he wasn’t the answer. Something all now calling for him to return to the starting lineup seem to have conveniently forgotten. Based on his three seasons at least, Mignolet isn’t the answer.
He’ll now get the chance to prove those last three years don’t paint an accurate picture, and Karius will have to look to regroup. And if Simon Mignolet ends up being the same player judged not good enough after three years and Karius can’t sort his game out, perhaps the club can re-sign Brad Jones in January.