20 Mar 2014

BR warns: £9m star still has 'lots of improvements to make'. At risk from £16m legend...?

Despite the arrival of Simon Mignolet last summer, Liverpool continue to be linked with goalkeepers, including £16m-rated Barcelona star Victor Valdes, who is reportedly on the Reds' transfer wish-list this summer. The arrival of a 'keeper like Valdes would surely raise question marks about Mignolet's status as LFC's undisputed number one, and when asked about the the goalkeeping situation today, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers made it clear that Mignolet needs to improve.

Speaking to the press ahead of Liverpool's weekend Premier League match with Cardiff, Rodgers described as Mignolet a 'great shot-stopper', but also delivered a veiled warning about the goalkeeper's form. He told reporters:

"He [Mignolet] has done very well, but to step into Pepe Reina's shoes was always going to be difficult for him. He certainly wasn't the finished article when we brought him, so he's still got lots of improvement to make".

Is Mignolet's position secure, or is he - like Glen Johnson - playing for his first team future?

Liverpool have kept two clean sheets in a row, and along with the club's defensive unit, Mignolet deserves praise for his part in that, but I get the sense (from listening to BR's press conferences all season) that Rodgers is not 100% convinced that the Belgian is the long-term solution.

I certainly think that a real opportunity exists for another goalkeeper to make a genuine challenge for top spot. Brad Jones is not realistic competition for the number one jersey, and the same situation existed with Pepe Reina, so it's definitely time to bring in someone who can put create serious competition.

Reds fans don't seem to be too enamoured by the prospect of Valdes, though. Last week, I conducted a poll, asking if Rodgers should replace Mignolet with the Barca stopper:

* 10300 visitors participated.
* 46% voted for Valdes to replace Mignolet.

That's a vote of confidence for the Belgian, but it's not an emphatic result in his favour. This suggests that - for the right 'keeper - fans might accept Mignolet being relegated to number two status.

Who is the right goalkeeper, though, or is Mignolet the long-term solution?



  1. At times he looks dodgey on crosses,but having a more settled back line may have something to do with that? His reactions are fantastic, he's young for a keeper,so should improve with games, I hope?!

  2. How do you value values 16 million.
    I vote Mignolet all the way, plus I would take reina ahead both of them any day. But or future is certain Mignolet for life, loyalty is a virtue.

  3. He needs to take command of his box. Even when the ball is high enough for him to come and claim it, he regularly fails to do that. His distribution also requires work. With the likes of Valdes, Ochoa and Agazzi available on a free this summer, it's logical for LFC to try to sign one of them!

  4. Of course he has lots of improvement to make. Hence the reason why Rodgers said he was not the finished article when we signed him.

    The Valdes rumour is nothing but a load BS. Why would we want to sign Valdes when we can just recall Reina who is still belongs to LFC???

  5. I get the feeling that Rodgers seriously thought he would have Pepe and Mings. I have read and heard recently that Rodgers part in the Committee is not as strong as he likes and deals both ways can be done without his say so. Mings is definitely not the kind of Keeper Rodgers prefers which can be seen in his comments (before joining Liverpool ?) about Vorm. He talks about his comfort on the ball and rushing off his line as the main reason he signed him.

  6. I doubt BR would dare get another goalkeeper to seriously challenge mignolet after spending so much (for a keeper) on him. If he did there is bound to be some pundit somewhere who would raise questions about his transfer dealings:-).

  7. Court ups is the type of no. 1 we need to really push for in that position!
    He is solid with CL experience and not to mention very young!
    If not, I'd rather stick with Mignolet and an up and coming behind Mignolet!
    With what should be CL next season, all cup matches can be given to the up and coming keeper!.. Of course move Jones on too!

  8. As some people have already said, he can be a little weak on crosses and taking command of the box. But when it comes to shot-stopping, Mignolet is excellent, and that can't be taught in the way that being more commanding and coming out more can be. As BR says, Mignolet isn't the finished article, but his shot-stopping alone is such an improvement on Reina's, and I think after a full summer's work we'll see a much more complete Mignolet in goal. Can't teach that innate talent for reaction saves, and Mignolet certainly has it.

  9. Yeah, he looks dodgy on corners because he has been burned how many times by a back four that can't keep the opposition from getting a clear noggin on the ball? I'd be dodgy too. In short we suck on set pieces so bad that I have to put my heart back in my chest on every one.

  10. Opta stats: Liverpool have conceded the highest proportion of headed goals (23%) in the Barclays Premier League this season.

    Now the question that needs to be asked is how many saves has Mignolet had to make because of our inept defence?

  11. I don't value him. I don't 'value' any player. There is a link in the article to his valuation.

  12. Goalkeepers are getting worse at catching footballs, I really dislike all the punching and flapping that goes one.

    Peter Schmeicel was brilliant at catching crosses, but nowadays even Cech and Buffon flap at everything.

    Gaelic football players in Ireland, or Aussie Rules footballers, routinely battle through crowds of players, who are also using their hands to catch footballs. I think it comes down to poor coaching and a lack of bravery.

    Every player should have real competition, apart from Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez and other top, top, top, top players. Mignolet has none, although I think he has done ok this year, he hasn't really had a consistent defense in front of him until recently, and his distribution is improving.

    Valses cannot catch a ball so hope we go nowhere near him, and his wages would be ridiculously high.

  13. I take Rodgers statement in a much more positive light. Mignolet has been good despite the small number of mistakes. He hasn't been perfect but I think he's up there among the best keepers in the league. To say that he still has more improvement to do is not a vote of no-confidence, it's an exciting suggestion that he will only get better. For him to be as good as he is now and have significant room for improvement is a great thing. Rodgers has seen players come on massively during his time, he's taken raw talent and made it into something special. Mignolet should be seen no differently to Sterling, Sturridge or Flanagan. All those guys had potential but were a risk. Now they are regular starters and really looking like top class players. We should expect the same from Mignolet. He'll be better again next season and that's a bonus for us because although we've had our defensive worries I think it's clear that Mignolet is already a good keeper.

  14. To be honest I don't think we have lost much between Reina and Mignolet. Reina had his dodgy moments and so does Mignolet. My main problem with him is that I also don't think he'll ever improve. So it's basically a younger version of Reina. Really good, solid goalkeepers are hard to come by though. Replacing him with Vorm or Valdes will give us more of the same. I say if we replace Mignolet it has to be with a top top goalkeeper. Someone in the mould of Van der Sar or Schmeichel.

  15. How many saves has Mignolet had to make because of our inept defence? :-)

  16. His comments about having room to improve seemed to me to be BR backing Mignolet, as in: he's a young guy he can get even better, not: he's got some problems he has to work on.