According to reports from Sky Sports, Liverpool are about to offer goalkeeper Simon Mignolet a new contract at Anfield.
The news may not go down very well with the Liverpool faithful, who are already questioning the Reds signing of QPR centre-back Steven Caulker in a season-long loan deal.
Mignolet has been heavily criticised this season for his performances and the Reds have been linked with moves for top ‘keeper in January.
However, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has stated he is not looking to bring in a goalkeeper in the near future.
Mixed fortunes at Liverpool
Simon Mignolet looked like he was going to be a top ‘keeper when he was at Sunderland. He was a top shot stopper and generally looked very dependable. At Liverpool he has looked far less certain and at times the weaknesses in his game have been exposed.
The 27-year-old showed so much promise at Sunderland and he was linked with a number of top clubs before moving to Anfield. The Belgian looks far less comfortable as Liverpool number one than he did on Wearside.
His concentration seems to be the biggest issue. He always has a mistake in him. No goalkeeper is perfect, but certain keepers have a propensity for making mistakes and Mignolet seems to be one of those.
Mignolet is not a terrible ‘keeper, but he needs to work hard on those week areas or he will not be successful on Merseyside and eventually be shipped out elsewhere. Maybe Liverpool needs a better goalkeeping coach than John Achterberg.
The Dutchman is by all accounts a good guy and a popular figure in football, but he spent most of his career playing in the lower leagues, including a long time at Tranmere Rovers.
Whether he is a good coach or not his history as a lower league ‘keeper does not exactly prepare him to turn a ‘keeper from decent to top-class. Obviously you do not need to be world-class player to coach at a world-class level, but the evidence of Mignolet’s development recently is not exactly encouraging.
Needs competition to help him improve
Klopp is apparently a big fan of Mignolet, which is understandable as he definitely has his good points, but Reds fans may be concerned that Klopp is not looking for competition for the Belgium international stopper.
The Reds current number two Adam Bogdan is not good enough for the Premier League, as he seems to do more flapping than a bird. The big hope that Liverpool fans seem to be clinging to at the moment is the return of young ‘keeper Danny Ward from his six-month loan spell at Aberdeen.
The 22-year-old Welshman has been earning rave reviews at the Dons and he is now expected to become Reds number two and even challenge Mignolet for the number one spot eventually. It seems unlikely that Bogdan will be making another appearance any time soon in the Liverpool first team.
Ward is highly-rated and his performances have helped Aberdeen to challenge Celtic for top spot in the SPL this season. The youngster may just get his chance in the first team this season at some point.
His six months as Aberdeen number one are not be enough experience for him to be Liverpool first choice though.
Reasons for extending
A move to extend Mignolet’s contract when he is in such unconvincing form seems rather strange. However, maybe Liverpool is attempting to protect their investment by giving the Belgian a new contract.
The Reds cannot afford for Mignolet’s contract to run down. The less time on his contract the smaller the fee that Liverpool with receive for the ‘keeper they paid £11million for in 2013.
Another less financial factor may that Jurgen Klopp really does believe that Mignolet can develop his game in the near future and cut out the mistakes. With the right guidance maybe the 27-year-old could improve and give his defenders more confidence.
Without improvement Simon Mignolet is destined to fail at Anfield and be moved on in the near future. If the Reds are to become successful again then they need a dependable guy between the sticks and maybe Mignolet is not the man for the job.
Does Simon Mignolet really deserve a new contract at Liverpool?