Free agent Victor Valdes’ expected Liverpool arrival will understandably cast doubt over Simon Mignolet’s ownership of the number one jersey at Anfield going forward this season.
Although widely recognised as an excellent shot stopper as demonstrated by a point-blank reaction save during Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Tottenham recently, other facets of Mignolet’s game regularly come in for scrutiny.
For a man that didn’t come cheap at £10m, the Belgium international has been maligned for both his positioning at certain times and his lack of conviction in dealing with high balls in the penalty box.
Mignolet’s awareness of where his goal was against Manchester City is a case in point.
It left a gleeful Sergio Aguero an open invitation to slot the third into the gaping gap at his near post, which is the kind of error which leads to disgruntled fans peppering forums.
However, the raw materials for a top keeper are there and if Valdes does indeed complete his proposed move in October, it will actually equal great news for the unopposed Reds net minder.
At 32 the Barcelona legend is one of the most decorated goalkeeper’s in club football, having compiled a mere six La Liga titles and three European Cups for starters.
Mignolet will have to up his all-round performance levels from the moment Valdes steps into Melwood if he is to maintain his undisputed place between the sticks.
Moreover, being able to pinch pearls of wisdom from one of European club football’s finest in training should also help the 26-year-old to develop his game.
Mignolet’s grasp of the gloves will be safe for a little while longer as Valdes recovers from knee surgery and next up the Belgian is priced up at 5/6 to record successive Premier League clean sheets.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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