It came as very little surprise, but at his pre-game press conference on Saturday afternoon, Jürgen Klopp confirmed that former first-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will start again on Monday when Liverpool head to Molineux to take on Wolves in the FA Cup.
With Liverpool quickly banished from the League Cup, Mignolet’s only opportunities to play this season will be in the FA Cup. Alisson Becker, Klopp’s preferred keeper, has only allowed in 10 goals in the league this season and so is in no risk of losing his place — and long may it continue.
Regarding the change, Klopp said, “He will play, of course. Yes, we have to [make changes]. That’s clear. We came through the intense period now somehow OK, but of course we have to make changes. How many I don’t know, but we have to. There is no chance for anything else.”
He went on to praise the player’s attitude and work ethic, neither of which can be denied if one pays even the slightest attention to Mignolet’s social media and public statements, where he has remained gracious and kind despite losing his place in the team.
“Simon, I could write a book about all the good things I could say about him. I am not sure if you saw it in the Man City game, in the warm up, he had seven, eight incredible saves. I was not sure if I am happy about that - I thought ‘Come on, let them gain a bit of confidence!’, but he caught them from everywhere and that’s how he is. He is a fantastic professional and did brilliantly so far.
”Si is a Premier League goalkeeper, everybody knows that, so I am really happy for him that he can have that game and it will be a difficult game on top [which is] maybe good for a goalie. He will have, I’m pretty sure, the opportunity to show up a few times.”
Mignolet will be aware that this competition provides his best opportunity to get playing time, which should give and the other players rotated in even more of an incentive to win on Monday.