Liam Shone reviews the season that the Belgian shot-stopper has had and ponders how long he has left at Liverpool.
This year Mignolet has had, to be generous, an average season. His dips in form and confidence alike ensured the Belgian had an inconsistent season between the sticks, even if he did end 2015 with the highest amount of clean sheets in the calendar year for the Barclays Premier League, according to Opta Stats.
However, ask any Liverpool fan and they will tell you that he is simply not good enough to remain our keeper if we are to progress forward as a club.
According to Squawka, the Big Belgian made a whopping 4 errors leading to goals this season, more than any other defensive player in the league. That alone is a damning statistic considering our new German 22-year shot-stopper Loris Karius didn’t make a single error leading to a goal in the Bundesliga last season, and will more than likely de-throne Mignolet as our resident keeper.
His season, however, wasn’t without some positive aspects. Mignolet was a key player in our cup runs, specifically in the shoot-out against Stoke in the Capital One Cup semi-final. Furthermore, Mignolet kept a hugely important clean sheet in our semi-final second-leg victory over Villarreal and kept an impressive 11 clean sheets in 34 premier league appearances.
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So, what’s all the fuss about? Why are we so desperate for a new keeper? He isn’t the worst keeper in the world by the statistics, so why the massive cause for concern by Liverpool fans? Well, it’s not what he does, its often what he does not do or how he goes about not doing it. Mignolet is very well known for his somewhat calamitous attempts at dealing with crosses, as well as his inability to deal with pretty much any set piece that comes his way.
His shocking display against Rafa Benitez’ Newcastle is damning evidence of this. Liverpool’s number 22 came flapping at a Vurnin Anita cross and as per the norm, made a massive mess of it.
It could even be argued that the Belgian cost us a place in Europe next season due the unholy amount of errors he made, as well as his totally bang average ratios. According to Squawka, he managed on average just 1.53 saves per games, and even worse just 1.27 saves per goal conceded, with the cherry on top being that he conceded on average 1.24 times whenever he set foot in goal.
So, now with the season done and dusted and with a new goalkeeper already signed, Simon must know that his days as the default starter in the first choice Liverpool XI are nearing an end. We know from his first season in charge of Borussia Dortmund that Jürgen Klopp can be a brutal man, as he cut 17 players in his first year. Will the same fate follow here at Liverpool?
Only time will tell as Jürgen aims to rebuild a wounded beast back to its former glory. But thing is almost a certainty, Simon Mignolet has his work cut out if he wishes to remain a Liverpool player.
Featured Image – Independent