18 Apr 2017

Aldo insists: 'Brilliant' £20m star is good enough to be 'Liverpool's' top man. Agree?

Has Simon Mignolet done enough to secure his position next season as Liverpool's number-one goalkeeper?

Mignolet has put in some commanding performances in recent weeks, and according to Reds legend John Aldridge, the 'brilliant' Belgian should retain his place in the starting lineup next season:

"He [Mignolet] might lack a little bit of belief in his own ability but...of late you can't fault him. His kicking is better now and his box work is better. He's done enough to start next season as Liverpool's goalkeeper".

Some short-termist fans will inevitably agree with Aldo here, but in my view, it's a mistake to stick with Mignolet.

Brendan Rodgers made the same mistake, and paid the price. Rodgers should've dumped Mignolet after the 2013-14 season (after Liverpool conceded 51 league goals), but he stuck with him, and - quelle surprise - he conceded another 50 goals in 2014-15.

Mignolet is having a good spell right now, but when it comes to primary stats, it's clear that he hasn't really progressed over the last 3 seasons:

* 2014-15: 62 GC in 54 apps (One every 79 mins).

- Clean sheet every 274 mins.

* 2015-16: 59 GC in 55 apps (One every 85 mins)

- Clean sheet every 252 mins.

* 2016-17: 29 GC in 26 apps (One every 80 mins)

- Clean sheet every 334 mins.

In terms of minutes-per-goal conceded and minutes-per-clean sheet, Mignolet has actually regressed from last season, a year in which Liverpool finished 8th in the table.

This is why stats are always more accurate than individual perception. Mignolet makes a few great saves, and the (short-termist) interpretation is that he's now the long-term solution. The factual reality, however, is that Mignolet performing at a less effective level than last season (a year in which Liverpool finished 8th in the league).

Going into a (probable) Champions League year with Mignolet as the club's number one is (arguably) a risky strategy, and if Klopp stick with him, and fails to sign another top-class 'keeper, it'll be his (and Liverpool's) funeral.


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