Thursday 26 April 2018

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet insists he is unfazed by Victor Valdes talk

Simon Mignolet of Liverpool
Simon Mignolet of Liverpool

Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet says he is immune to the pressure surrounding him despite reports that Brendan Rodgers is pondering a move for ex-Barcelona stopper Victor Valdes.

Mignolet has conceded nine goals in the first six matches of the season with Liverpool so far struggling to find the form that saw them finish as runners-up behind Manchester City last season.

26-year-old Mignolet was brought to Anfield from Sunderland in 2013 for £9 million to replace Pepe Reina but let in 50 goals during the campaign despite the club's highest league finish in five years.

Spain international Valdés left Barcelona at the end of last season, making him a free agent and therefore able to sign for another club outside the transfer window.

He suffered a serious anterior cruciate knee ligament in March but has almost recovered and reports he will join up with Liverpool when his is fit enough to have a medical.

But Mignolet is determined to not let any speculation affect him though and maintains he can cope with the pressure despite Liverpool's stuttering start to the season.

“The only pressure is what you put yourself under," he said. "What is pressure? Pressure is what is happening in Iraq at the moment when there is a war. That is pressure,” he said.

“We are all football players and we are here to do our best. You want to work hard in training and we will see what happens at a weekend. I can only do my best, work hard, be positive and confident and I believe in myself. That is the only thing I can do.”

Had the Valdés unsettled him?

“If I have to look into all the people and players who are linked with Liverpool, then there will be another team on the pitch. Every week there would be a different 11 playing.

“I am here to play my game and to do my best every week, I can only work hard in training, be positive and make sure I play well at the weekend.”

“As a goalkeeper you are always very dependent on the whole team. If you concede one or two goals, you always say you could have done this or that better at that moment in time. There will always be things like that.

“I accept it, try to learn from it and hopefully it doesn’t happen again in the future. I always move on to the next game and ensure I approach it in a positive mindset. I have to be ready when called upon.”

Liverpool's next match is against Basle on Wednesday in their second Champions League group stage match after drawing 1-1 with Bulgarian side Ludogorets a fortnight ago.

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