Wednesday 21 March 2018

Simon Mignolet axed from Liverpool side to face Arsenal

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet
Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has left out goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and is expected to recall Loris Karius for today’s visit of Arsenal, in a surprise move.

Mignolet has been omitted from the squad, the Belgian told he has been rested following this week’s Champions League qualifier.

It is a big call from Klopp, who said on the eve of the new season he now considered Mignolet to be the club’s number one. With the international break upcoming, Mignolet will now be without a game for two weeks as he is back-up for his country.

The goalkeeper was informed of the decision after training at Melwood on Saturday.

Karius will be eager to take the opportunity after a difficult start to his Liverpool career after his move from Mainz last season.

He was called up but then left out after some high profile errors, although he did perform much better in the League Cup later in the season. He now has the chance to prove he has adapted to English football, although from the outside it does appear to be a risky move from Klopp given the calibre of opposition this afternoon.

Liverpool have started the season in excellent form offensively, but defensive issues have lingered and it is likely Klopp simply wants to reward all those impressing in training.

When Karius lost his Premier League place last season, Klopp said it was only a matter of time before he returned.

“I'm not interested in public pressure, I'm interested in the boy,” Klopp explained last December.

“There's no reason to push him through the situation, he loses confidence.

“Karius has a lot of things that other goalkeepers want to have. We want to develop the players - we don't want to convince people that he's not bad.

“I know him really well and he's much better than he has been in the last two games. It's a situation which Liverpool have as a long-term project.”

Klopp would also have the option of calling up Welsh international Danny Ward who had a successful loan spell at Huddersfield last season.

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