Simon Mignolet will get his first start of the season for Liverpool in the League Cup on Wednesday as manager Jürgen Klopp looks to give his number two a chance at minutes after a summer that ended with Mignolet disappointed to still be at the club.
Mignolet had hoped for a move abroad, and for a time a switch to Napoli looked likely, but the player’s wage demands and Liverpool’s refusal to let the 30-year-old leave on loan—only a permanent deal was deemed acceptable—stopped the move from happening.
After Loris Karius was allowed to leave—younger, cheaper, and with Besiktas willing to agree to a mandatory purchase option—it left Mignolet publicly disappointed with his status and with remaining at Anfield as second choice to new signing Alisson Becker.
“Yes, it was how you can imagine it,” Klopp said of the situation. “Simon would have been ready to go to another club to be number one wherever in the world, but we couldn’t do it. Since then he has been brilliant. He deserves the game tomorrow.”
It’s a positive, then, to hear that after his brief upset at not being sold, Mignolet has kept his head down and worked hard in training to stay ready in case he’s needed. And tomorrow he will be, though beyond Mignolet starting Klopp wasn’t giving anything away.
Still, he did promise a “strong team” would face Chelsea, even if he wasn’t say who might be rested or rotated. The expectation, though, is for Fabinho to be given his full debut and Naby Keïta to be given another start in midfield after two games on the bench.
A fully changed back line is also possible, with Klopp saying that Dejan Lovren “looks ready” after his recent struggles with injury. Dominic Solanke is also fit and available, though Adam Lallana and Divock Origi are not.