It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster season, and it’s likely that no one is feeling this more than Simon Mignolet. The keeper was relegated to the bench early in the season as a result of some shaky showings but, with some help from Loris Karius’ difficulty finding the right rhythm, found his way back to the starting spot and turned out some fantastic performances in later games.
Despite his incredibly strong end to the season (four consecutive clean sheets to wrap up Liverpool’s race for fourth), Mignolet doesn’t believe that his place as Liverpool’s starting goalkeeper is a guarantee.
“I’m fighting against Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Joe Hart, Iker Casillas,” Mignolet said in a recent interview with the Echo. “I know all those names are going to be flying around, I know what I did this season will be forgotten.
“I’m not fighting against the guys in the dressing room. I’m fighting against myself. There is no point gauging what is going to be around me.”
And Mignolet isn’t pretending Klopp’s decision to have Karius start was something he took calmly, either. The decision didn’t make sense to him at the time but did provide the fuel he needed to fight for the spot again.
“Yeah, inside I got angry,” Mignolet added. “I don’t think anyone on the planet doesn’t get angry!”
“After I was dropped that time, I just kept asking myself ‘why?’ but the only way to deal with it was to put my head down and get on with it.
“I was determined to show myself in the best possible light. The last few months have given me a lot more settlement here. I understand things now and I can deal with it.”
Transfer season is a trying time for everyone, what with the number of rumours flying around every thirty seconds. It’s not going to be an easy one to weather for Mignolet, but if the season has shown anything, it’s that there are higher priorities than buying another goalkeeper.