Liverpool are flying under Jurgen Klopp and are genuine title contenders this season. However, there a few areas which still need improvement if the Merseyside club want to keep their title hopes alive. And one of them is the goalkeeping position.
Of course, Klopp knew that this was an area of concern from the start of the season and hence brought in Loris Karius from Bundesliga side Mainz 05. The German goalkeeper, however, failed to live up to all expectations and has let down Liverpool a number of times already. Klopp was forced to reinstate Simon Mignolet as the goalkeeper in the starting line-up. Nonetheless, neither Karius nor Mignolet provides the stability in between the sticks that is much needed at Liverpool.
Under the circumstances, Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel who had a stellar last season has emerged as a potential January signing. The 30-year-old Dane would be the perfect addition to Klopp’s side but that gives rise to another question. Who amongst Mignolet and Karius should Liverpool sell?
Obviously, there is no point in keeping four goalkeepers in the first team with the Reds already boasting Karius, Mignolet and Alex Manninger. It is safe to assume that if Schmeichel does sign for Liverpool, either Karius or Mignolet will leave by the end of the transfer window.
The problems in the goalkeeper position were already looming large at the start of the season. Last season Mignolet conceded 42 goals in 34 appearances and managed to keep just 11 clean sheets. Not the ideal stats a goalkeeper of a title aspiring club should boast. And although the defence was solid most of the times, it was largely the errors made by the Belgian keeper that led to the goals.
Klopp tried to rectify this particular problem by bringing in Karius. But even the 23-year-old is very error-prone. The crisis was ever more evident in the fixture against West Ham. Liverpool drew 2-2 against the relegation-threatened visitors in a game that they should have won. The Bournemouth match was another instance where Liverpool’s problems were horrifically exposed. Karius spilled a tame shot and allowed Nathan Ake to force a rebound into the net thus securing a 4-3 victory for Bournemouth.
Of course, the young German received some flak from the pundits and the fans alike. But so far, Klopp has stood behind Karius. Now if he had to choose between Mignolet and Karius how would he decide whom to keep and whom not to?
Karius has been Mainz’s No.1 keeper for three full seasons and has garnered some experience in the Bundesliga but England is a different country. Mignolet, on the other hand, has a wealth of Premier League, this being his seventh season in England. If Klopp goes by experience then Mignolet is the hands down winner and Karius has to go.
Being a goalkeeper is a difficult job as one mistake means on goal for the opposition. And ultimately, all goalkeepers are judged on the number of goals they have conceded. Karius has conceded 12 goals in the league so far, that rounds up to one goal in every 75 minutes.
Mignolet, on the other hand, has conceded eight goals in seven fixtures, averaging one goal in every 78.75 minutes.
Although Mignolet trumps Karius on the basis of experience and current form, it is hard to depict who should leave. The Belgian, given his experience, should be able to handle the pressure and would have added motivation to win back his first-team place even if Schmeichel joins. The German youngster’s confidence looks shattered and it might be a good move for him to find his mojo in another club with fewer expectations.
We will leave you guys with a compilation video of some amazing saves by Kasper Schmeichel.