Last season was a season that the Belgian international Simon Mignolet would like to forget, the error prone keeper cost Liverpool 15 points that would have seen them in the top four and even second spot. The problem for Liverpool was that there was no real competition for Mignolet although when Ward came back from loan, he showed that he could do well to put pressure on the Belgian. The indifferent form didnt stop manager Jurgen Klopp from offering him a new five year deal. This brought some mixed reaction from the fans, mostly concerned reaction as it seemed strange to reward a keeper who more than likely cost them a top four finish and a place in the Champions League.
The decision to offer the Belgian a new deal would either be one questionable decision by Klopp, or some long term thinking in seeing im have value in a possible future transfer. It could very well be the latter as German youngster Lorius Karius was signed towards the end of May. He gave a relatively decent performance during pre season as Mignolet was given extra time off from playing in Euro 2016. Karius had been convinced by Klopp not to go to the Olympics, which signalled that the former Mainz keeper would start the season between the sticks. Whilst the Reds only faced the likes of Fleetwood Town, Wigan and Huddersfield, he had kept clean sheets until the Chelsea game. The game against the Blues would be his last for a while as he would break his hand.
Mignolet will be hoping his appearance in the opening games of the season will be error free and preferably clean sheets. Visits to Arsenal, Burnley, Tottenham and Chelsea in amongst an opening run of fixtures that also sees a home time against defending champions Leicester. The pressure and focus is on Mignolet and any unforced errors will certain be tallied up by Reds fans up and down the country. With no European football for the club, there are plenty advantages for Liverpool and Mignolet will hope to be helping to spearhead that venture.
If come Christmas and the New Year we see Mignolet’s errors are mounting once more then the bell surely has to toll. Should the second half of the season be a nightmare of proportions for the keeper I can only imagine that Klopp will be opting to cash in on the Belgian international.