Whatever happens from here on out, Simon Mignolet’s time at Liverpool is likely to be done in the summer, with the 30-year-old Belgian expected to move on in search of starting minutes and rumours of interest from a handful of clubs on the continent.
In the meantime, though, he says he’s working hard at staying fit, doing his best to prove he still deserves a starting place, and making sure that if the opportunity to win back the number one job from Loris Karius does present itself he’ll be ready to take it.
“The only thing you try to do is prove every time in training you are ready for when the chance comes along,” Mignolet told the Belgian press this week as the players took a break from training ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Saudi Arabia.
“It is never easy of because I have never in my career spent time on the bench, but it is how it is and the only thing you can do is try to change it, but it is never easy. I’ve had a few conversations with the manager and we have spoken about things.”
After giving Mignolet the first half of the season to prove he could be Liverpool’s long-term answer in goal, manager Jürgen Klopp has handed the starting job off to Loris Karius for the second half in order to give the 24-year-old German the same chance.
If Karius can’t take the opportunity, a move for a more proven option like Roma’s Alisson Becker could be on the cards—but so far at least it’s looked as though Karius might just manage to do enough to hold on to the starting job.
Either way, though, Mignolet isn’t likely to remain at the club as a backup, and it would be a shocking turn of events to see Karius stumble now to the extent Mignolet would be given another chance and that this time he would prove he was the answer.
So after five up and down seasons at Anfield under two managers, it’s likely time for him to move on. Until the day that happens, though, he’ll be keeping his head down, working hard in training, and trying his best—just in case.
“You always have to be ready for when the chance comes along,” Mignolet added. “That’s the only thing I can do so I try to stay professional in training, try to work as hard as I can, and show that I’m ready for whenever the chance happens.”