Jurgen Klopp believes Simon Mignolet is perfect for Liverpool, after the goalkeeper signed a new five-and-a-half year contract with the club.
The Belgian joined the Reds from Sunderland in the summer of 2013 for £9million, and he has gone on to establish himself as the first choice having now racked up 122 appearances. Although he has drawn criticism from many pundits – and supporters – in recent times, he can point to the fact he kept more clean sheets than any of his equivalents during the 2015 calendar year.
However, there is no denying that the 27-year-old has been guilty of the occasional blunder during his time on Merseyside. Indeed, in an article by WhoScored.com, which was published on the Sky Sports website prior to the festive period, it was claimed Mignolet was the most error-prone shot-stopper in the Premier League* since 2013/14 after his error against West Bromwich Albion.
Despite this, news broke earlier this week that he was set to be offered a new contract at Anfield. This was greeted with surprise by many, not least the Liverpool fans who had hoped that if not this month, then certainly by the start of next season, they would have a new number one. Klopp, though, appears to retain the full confidence in his current first choice goalkeeper.
“When I came here I heard nothing negative about Simon from all the people I spoke about him with,” Klopp said. “There’s been a lot of games since I’ve been here and Simon, as is normal for a goalkeeper, has been involved in one or another goal we’ve conceded. But we thought about it overall and as a package, Simon Mignolet is, for us, perfect.
“He’s a smart guy, he’s young enough to develop in the things he has to develop and he gives us all a good feeling when he is in the starting line-up. That’s really important. We thought about it and the end result was we were sure we want to work together with him for the next few years. That’s why we offered him a new contract and he took it.”