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Jürgen Klopp On Goalkeeper Battle: "I Want Us All to Be Best Friends"

With Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius vying for a spot in the starting lineup, the manager discussed the importance of friendly competition.

Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was in danger of losing his starting job after enduring a down season last campaign. When Jürgen Klopp decided to bring in Loris Karius from Mainz in May, it appeared his status at the club had evaporated.

But Karius broke his hand in the pre-season, allowing Mignolet to retain his place in the side for the first few weeks of this season. Even though the German goalkeeper is back to full health now, Mignolet started against Leicester City and appears set to hold onto that role in the near future.

Klopp was unwilling to show his hand regarding the competition when asked about it after Liverpool's 4-1 win on Saturday. Instead, he said he's happy to continue with two players fighting it out for the same position.

"I knew when we signed Karius that we now have two really strong goalkeepers," he said (via the Echo). "There is no pressure or anything; that is the challenge and competition. In the end I want us all to be best friends, even when our best friends play in the same position."

In reality, however, football does not operate in a utopian world where everyone is best friends. Players lose spots in the starting eleven based on their performance level and must deal with that, even if it makes them unhappy. As such, Klopp said he'll choose his starting goalkeeper based off on-field production while continuing to encourage ongoing competition.

"That's how it is, that's football, it's about performing," he said. "I'm fine and if they all stay fit in this position, that's all I need."

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