By 90Min
July 28, 2019

An innocuous long-range effort from Sporting CP's Bruno Fernandes at the Yankee Stadium should have been meat and drink for any experienced goalkeeper worth their salt. However, Liverpool had Simon Mignolet in goal and an instant later the ball had canned off his forearms and into the back of the net. 

Yes, it was only a friendly match that won't live for long in the memory but it was a moment that typified the volatile Liverpool career of Simon Mignolet. 

Al Bello/GettyImages

While his role as deputy to Alisson Becker may be secure for now, Liverpool would do well to consider the future of the affable, but error-prone Belgian keeper.


The former Sunderland man has been through a full collage of emotions during his time at Anfield. A dramatic late penalty save and superb follow-up stop against Stoke City's Jon Walters on his debut had many Liverpool fans quietly optimistic that a worthy replacement to Pepe Reina had been found. 


From there though, things have not gone entirely to plan for the Belgium international. Mignolet was increasingly an erratic figure between the sticks and lacked the authority to properly marshal his defenders and instil full confidence in his abilities.

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Some poor natural starting positions and an indecisive persona combined to further hinder his form and leave question marks over his suitability at a top club. Things became so bad at times, that the club turned in desperation to Brad Jones and the hapless Adam Bodgan (shudder) to see if they could offer any improvement. They couldn't. 


After Brendan Rodgers departed in 2015, Jurgen Klopp persisted with the man he'd inherited, leading to some really below par results and let downs on the highest level.

A high profile error in the Carling Cup final that season gave Manchester City the lead at Wembley. Later on in the same campaign, Mignolet allowed a close range, tame effort to squirm under him in the Europa League final as Sevilla flew out in a devastating second half spell.

Lars Baron/GettyImages

Big moments that needed big saves only served to produce costly errors. It had become a tiresome record for Liverpool fans. Indeed, that season would prove to be his last as the out-and-out number one for the club and his status has been in decline ever since.

Even his reputation as a quick-fire shot stopper came in to doubt as Liverpool struggled to decide between Mignolet and Loris Karius in 2017/18. That season, he was second only to Joe Hart, with the lowest save percentage in the Premier League, just 59.3% to be exact. 

His decline was complete the following season when he was relegated to domestic cup duty, with Alisson reinstating some much-needed, world-class quality between the sticks at Anfield.

As things presently stand, Jurgen Klopp appears to be relatively relaxed about his backup keeper and recently ruled out any summer departure for Mignolet. However, it does seem an odd position for the German to take, given the sheer volume of errors and uncertainty that the Belgian brings to proceedings. 

Liverpool lifted a huge millstone of pressure from their necks with their Champions League success. It was the club's first major honour since 2012 and only their second since Steven Gerrard almost single-handedly won them the FA Cup in 2006. 

Klopp will know that he must now build on the Champions League victory and not allow another painful trophy drought to set in at such a big football club. Is Mignolet the right man to help them navigate the tricky water of the domestic cup competitions?

Short answer; no he isn't. In his last three outings in the cups for Liverpool, he has shipped seven goals from the 13 shots he has faced. Now not every goal was his fault of course, but you do, at times need your keeper to bail you out if things go wrong, On the surface of it, Mignolet simply cannot offer that. 

While some Liverpool fans warmed to the keeper last season thanks to his positivity and cheerleading antics on social media; this simply is not enough to warrant him staying on at the club on a big contract.


Liverpool would do well now to cut their losses and jettison the error-prone keeper if they are to truly challenge on all fronts for multiple honours in the coming seasons. Perhaps an older keeper to come in on and keep the bench warm for a couple of years and play a few cup games here and there, would not be a bad alternative to the current set up.

Tom Heaton and Ben Foster have both been linked in recent transfer windows. Whether either man (both formerly of rivals Manchester United of course) would be a viable upgrade to Migolet is debatable. What is not, however, is Liverpool's urgent need to upgrade their deputy stopper and take another step towards more frequent trophy success. 

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