Klopp casts further doubt on Mignolet’s future
Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp has cast further doubt on Simon Mignolet’s future at Liverpool by suggesting the Belgian will not be selected for Liverpool’s Champions League match against Porto on Wednesday.
Mignolet has shared goalkeeper duties with Loris Karius this season, with the former having been first choice in the Premier League and the latter chosen to start in the Champions League. But Klopp confirmed on January 19, and following Liverpool’s 4-3 victory against Manchester City, that the German was his official No. 1. Karius started the City game and has played in Liverpool’s four league games since.
Mignolet has featured in that time, playing in the 3-2 FA Cup defeat against West Bromwich Albion, and the presumption was that he had become Liverpool’s ‘cup keeper’ and would therefore start their last-16 first-leg tie at Estadio do Dragao. But that does not appear to be the case.
“To be honest I have not made the final decision but it is not the same situation as it was,” Klopp said when asked which goalkeeper he would pick to face Porto. “A good one will play. But I haven’t made the decision so far.”
The head coach’s remarks regarding a change of “situation” indicates he has abandoned his policy of rotating goalkeepers, something Mignolet had described as “not a healthy situation for a keeper” and which, if the case, pushes him further towards the fringes of life at Liverpool.
The 29-year-old joined the club from Sunderland in June 2013 and was part of the team that came close to winning the Premier League title under Brendan Rodgers. Mignolet has largely failed to convince at Anfield, however, and it appears his time is now up.
Karius arguably delivered his best display for Liverpool in the 2-0 win at Southampton on Sunday, making two excellent saves in the first half and generally looking assured.
He has helped Liverpool notch three wins and keeping two clean sheets in recent matches.
“I am feeling good and getting consistent game time helps a lot,” the 24-year-old said. “In the last few games I have had more stuff to do and I have been able to make some saves, which gives you more confidence.
“I have had a lot of experience but it definitely helps when you play regularly instead of coming in and out of the team.” Karius impressed in Sunday’s 2-0 league win over Southampton with the help of Virgil van Dijk, who put in a commanding display in central defence on his return to his former club.
“Virgil has played quite a bit now and with him in front we are getting more used to each other,” Karius added. “That’s important for the team.
“He is a great player. Of course he has to adapt a bit because our style is so different. We defend high and he needs to get used to Dejan (Lovren) and Joel (Matip).
“Individually, Virgil is a top player. That’s why Liverpool paid the price they did for him.”