5 players who are lucky to be playing for Liverpool
Liverpool are flying pretty high right now – they’re chasing for a top-four spot in the Premier League for the second season running, and they’re also in the last sixteen of the Champions League. Since taking over in October 2015, Jurgen Klopp has done a pretty stellar job, and only a fool would now deny that the Reds are back in the hat of genuine title contenders.
However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t carrying a handful of players that – no offence intended – are lucky to still be able to pull on the famous red shirt of Liverpool. Whether it’s down to injuries, a playing style that simply doesn’t fit the system that Klopp deploys, or other issues, the following five players should probably be thankful every time they run out on the pitch at Anfield.
#1 Simon Mignolet
Sir Alex Ferguson once famously claimed that a genuinely great goalkeeper is worth around fifteen points a season, and if you look at the other teams in the Premier League’s ‘big six’ then that certainly makes sense given the calibre they can boast. Hugo Lloris, David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois are amongst the world’s best keepers, Petr Cech is still an extremely dependable pair of hands, and while Ederson is still somewhat unproven at the top level, he certainly looks the part right now. The same can’t be said for Liverpool’s #1 Simon Mignolet.
It’s not that Mignolet is an outright bad keeper – top teams have carried far worse in the past – but in comparison to Liverpool’s rivals he just doesn’t cut the mustard. A year ago, Klopp began to lose faith in the Belgian and dropped him in favour of Loris Karius, but he soon restored Mignolet to the top spot and to be fair to him, he’s started this season decently and hasn’t dropped any major clangers yet. But it could be argued that a better keeper may have prevented Liverpool from conceding 25 goals so far – the second-most of the Premier League’s top six.
Given that very good goalkeepers are available at the smaller clubs of the Premier League – the likes of Jack Butland, Kasper Schmeichel and Tom Heaton, for instance, and one extremely good goalkeeper in Jordan Pickford actually signed for Liverpool’s Mersey rivals Everton in the summer – it’s a surprise that Klopp has kept faith with Mignolet for as long as he has. And given Liverpool haven’t been linked with any goalkeepers despite having the huge windfall from the sale of Philipe Coutinho, the Belgian can certainly consider himself lucky to be keeping his spot.