In June 2013 Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers signed off on a £9 million move for Sunderland’s Belgian international ‘keeper. It was a move that was generally heralded at the time by fans and pundits alike. The two hot ‘keeping properties around that era were Asmir Begovic and Mignolet, with the reds opting for the latter. Although The Echo did rubbish claims Liverpool were in for Begovic at the time.
He made an instant impact in a home game against Stoke with a saved penalty from Walters and a quick save from the follow up. I myself, and I expect a lot of Liverpool fans alike, let our cries of relief. Finally a breath of fresh air in the Liverpool starting 11. Afterall, it had not been long since the Coutinho-esque transfer drama of Luis Suarez’s potential 40 million and one pound transfer to Arsenal had played itself out and left a bad smell around the club’s summer.
The fresh air soon seemed to disperse as quickly as it came as Simon continued to make costly errors and look less and less commanding in the LFC jersey. Memorable mistakes against the likes of Bordeaux in 2014, where Mignolet indecisively held the ball in his area for almost half a minute and gave away an indirect free kick in which Henri Saivet scored from or against West Brom in a 2-2 draw in 2015, where the Belgian flapped at a corner.
The same sentence always seems to get dragged out in the defence of Mignolet’s performances, “He’s a good shot stopper”. Whilst that is most definitely true, surely that should be held as a minimum standard for all PL level goalkeepers. This season Mignolet has made 19 PL appearances and in that time he has made 2 errors leading directly to goals and has conceded 24 goals, keeping only 7 clean sheets. That is not a good enough contribution to a team striving for a champions league place with ambitions of becoming title contenders.
The end of the line seemed to appear midway through this season when Klopp announced that Loris Karius would be the Liverpool No.1 ‘keeper going forward and adding that, “It’s time to deliver” signalling that his faith had been placed in the young German.
It seems that finally, after years of service, this could be the last full season we see the Belgian shot-stopper in the Liverpool set up. Numerous reports including one from the Belgian outlet Sporza say that Mignolet will be on his way out in the summer. Shortly after, the Guardian then reported the quotes, “Of course I also have to think about my own future, the only thing I can do is focus on the training and do my best. I’m 30 years old and the World Cup is coming in. This situation can not last too long, that’s clear. I cannot say more about it” leading fans and pundits alike to assume that Simon’s career will move away from Merseyside.