One thing Liverpool fans can be sure of is that Jürgen Klopp gives players a chance to show what they can do. As expected, Liverpool will not be on the hunt for a senior goalkeeper this summer after Klopp declared that he was happy with Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius as his “last man standing” options.
Both goalkeepers have played at different times this season, but Mignolet emerged as the club’s first-choice option in December after some unconvincing performances by his replacement. Karius looked set for a reprieve last month after a couple of Mignolet mistakes, but the Belgian international held onto his starting spot. Karius’ improvement in EFL Cup matches suggests that he may have become accustomed to English football, but Mignolet has made some big saves in recent matches to justify Klopp sticking with the 29-year-old.
“I am happy most of the days,” Klopp said. “One day when a goalkeeper is involved in a goal, which happens quite a few times - it is the life of a goalkeeper that you are the last man standing - then you are not too happy.
“But I am happy with our goalkeepers, yes. It is how it always is in football - it is all about players. We don’t make final decisions until I don’t know when.
“We have these two really good goalkeepers. We have with Alex Manninger, a wonderful professional player which helps the squad a lot. We also have young players in behind including (Danny) Ward on loan (at Huddersfield). Our situation is as good as possible.”
It could be a lot better, Jürgen. Karius still looks to be the long-term successor at 23 without seasons of uncertainty as Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper. For all of Mignolet’s hard work this season, he appears incapable of commanding his goal and producing consistent performances to be considered one of the best the league. Karius, though, has much to prove.
If Mignolet finishes the rest of the season in goal, he will have made 26 appearances in all competitions compared with Karius’ 16. At least the Joe Hart transfer speculation can be completely dismissed for the nonsense that it is, and we can speculate on summer transfer window targets without wasting much thought on potential goalkeepers. Don't forget that the returning Danny Ward will be just like a new signing!
With all due respect, a good goalkeeper shouldn't spend successive seasons in the shadow of Simon Mignolet. Hopefully Karius will prove to be the long-term successor that Klopp thinks he is, but if the former Mainz 05 keeper cannot step up next season, Liverpool will need to look elsewhere for a reliable alternative.