With Alisson Becker looking like a swarthy, competent snack — albeit one with severely problematic political leanings — at the back of Liverpool’s record-setting defensive front, and Loris Karius soaking up all the column inches across Europe for his scandalaous transgressions — He dropped a ball! He doesn’t smile enough when he holds Turkish babies! — one could be forgiven for forgetting that Simon Mignolet still exists on Merseyside.
The 30-year old has made only one appearance for the Reds this year — the Carabao Cup exit to Chelsea back in September — and with that competition now off the table, as well as his Brazilian rival settling into the side in record time, playing time looks like it will be hard to come by for the pear-enthusiast.
Since airing his opinion in the summer on the club’s decision to keep himself around and allowing Karius to depart on loan, Mignolet has buckled down and settled into his role as long-term backup, with an eye on a permanent move elsewhere down the line, but according to reports, that line will most likely extend until at least June.
That is the word from well-connected James Pearce at the Echo, who indicates Klopp and Liverpool have decided that keeping only Kamil Grabara and Caoimhin Kelleher around as backup to their £65m starter is too big of a risk to take, and that the former Sunderland man — despite interest from across Europe, including Ligue 1 and Mario Balotelli’s Nice — will be kept until the end of the season, at which point his future will be the subject of renewed debate.
It’s not the worst fate in the world, of course, earning £60.000 a week for practicing a sport at one of the world’s biggest clubs, but Mignolet would undoubtedly not have gotten to this point if he was one to settle for the bench, and faith in his own abilities as well as a desire to display them will likely lead to the Belgian’s departure come July.