Liverpool must ditch Mignolet for this reserve stopper in Jan

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It’s come to the point with Simon Mignolet now that every time a shot of relative strength heads his way you can almost hear the collective sharp intake of breath from the Liverpool fans. For a split second the masses have the same heart-stopping thought. Will the blundering Belgian successfully gather the ball or will he spill it into the path of an opponent?

It’s no secret around Merseyside that Brendan Rodgers seeks a replacement stopper between his sticks and as a result every man capable of filling a pair of oversized gloves has been linked to an Anfield move.

The latest pair seem like reasonable options to oust Mignolet from the 14/5 top-four hopefuls’ net, with Stoke’s Asmir Begovic and Chelsea reserve Petr Cech both thought to be eminently gettable for the Reds this January, according to the various rumours.

But, is this just a case of throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping it sticks? Or would either one of the rumoured targets actually serve as upgrades on Rodgers’ current first-choice keeper considering Stoke have the joint-fewest clean sheets in the league and Cech can’t get a game at Chelsea?

To help decide, we’ve designed the below graphic which compares the three players, using Cech’s stats from last season when he was a Chelsea regular, and it becomes quite clear who the Northern Irishman should be busting a gut to get:

mignolet-begovic-cech

The two telling figures that make Cech the clear choice to replace Mignolet are his goals against last term, which have almost been caught by his two rivals in just 15 outings this term, and his number of saves per goal, a stat that proves the headgear wearer makes opponents work harder to beat him.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.