9 Apr 2017

Matip raves: £20m Liverpool star was 'amazing' against Stoke; he's 'the reason we won'

Reds defender Joel Matip has praised one of the club's most maligned players for his crucial part in Liverpool's comeback against Stoke City on Saturday.

Speaking the club's official website, Matip acknowledged the impact of Coutinho and Firmino, but reserved special praise for Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet:

"We started to play better football [in the second half] and also Simon [Mignolet] made some great saves, amazing, and that was the reason why we won".

Jurgen Klopp described one of Mignolet's saves as 'one of the best I've ever seen', which is high praise indeed, albeit (arguably) exaggerated. The question is, has Mignolet done enough this season to earn a stay of execution?

In my view, he still needs to be replaced. Mignolet goes through good spells of form every single year, but he is also prone to regular mistakes, and it's been that way ever since he signed for the club.

Additionally, Mignolet's stats this season do not come anywhere close to comparing with the world's top goalkeepers:

* Neuer: 19 GC in 37 apps (One every 175 mins). 19 CS (51% of games)

* Buffon: 22 GC in 35 apps (One every 142 mins). 17 CS (48% of games)

* Oblak: 20 GC in 30 apps (One every 132 mins). 16 CS (53% of games)

* Courtois: 25 GC in 32 apps (One every 115 mins). 14 CS (43% of games)

* Lloris: 29 GC in 35 apps (One every 106 mins). 14 CS (40% of games)

* De Gea: 35 GC in 39 apps (One every 100 mins). 13 CS (37% of games)

* Stegen: 35 GC in 37 apps (One every 95 mins). 15 CS (43% of games)

And coming up the rear...

* Mignolet: 29 GC in 25 apps (One every 77 mins). 6 CS (21% of games)

Even his old understudy, Brad Jones is outperforming Mignolet this season:

* Jones: 27 GC in 37 games (One every 127 mins). 18 clean sheets (67% of games)

It looks increasingly like Liverpool will qualify for the Champions League this season, and in my view, Klopp will need a better goalkeeper than Mignolet to navigate through Europe's premier competition.

^ Mignolet: £20m-rated

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