When Liverpool signed goalkeeper Loris Karius over the summer, it appeared to mark the beginning of the end of the Simon Mignolet era. After all, many people both within and outside of the club lost faith in the Belgian following a disappointing 2015-16 campaign.
Sure enough, Jürgen Klopp benched Mignolet after just five league matches this season. But rather than taking advantage of his opportunity as a starter, Karius struggled enough to hand his teammate back a place in the first eleven this past week against Middlesbrough.
With another chance to prove himself with Liverpool, Mignolet took time to reflect on the current goalkeeping situation.
“The goalkeeper position is not an easy one,” Mignolet said (via The Telegraph). “No individual is more important than the club and the only important thing is the club. Obviously, for Loris, it won’t be nice, but he is capable and professional enough to learn from it.”
In order for Karius to handle losing his job, Mignolet claimed, he has to be “mentally strong.”
“In football things can change very quickly, with an injury or illness,” Mignolet explained. “You have to stay professional, keep your head down and work hard on and off the pitch. Stay focused, which is not always easy, especially as a keeper.”
Given Mignolet’s past struggles and the confidence Klopp still has in Karius, it’s very possible that this won’t be the last time the starting goalkeeper spot changes hands this year. Hopefully both players can remain understanding of the situation and use the ongoing competition as a motivator to become better.