There is still plenty of speculation over whether Reina will still be at Anfield come the start of next season as Barcelona don’t seem to have completely gone away and left the club alone.
However, there are several reasons Liverpool fans shouldn’t be at all worried because they have a solid number one in the form of the 25-year-old Belgian to step in and take his chance when necessary.
You know the defence has played a bit poorly when the goalkeeper has been named as the man of the match, but that happened to Mignolet five times last season.
He produced some truly stunning performances for the club as they went about trying to stay in the Premier League and it’s a huge message to Liverpool that he’s ready to step up and take the pressure at any level.
Interestingly, Reina didn’t win a single man of the match award last season.
Mignolet had a higher average than Reina in terms of clearances last season with 1.6 per game compared to Reina’s 0.8.
That’s further proof that the Belgian should be ready and willing to deal with any pressure him and his defence will be put under next season.
It also gives us a slight insight to his ability in terms of decision making because he’s certainly good enough to just make the right call at the right time and get the ball out of play quickly and efficiently.
Mignolet was more effective last season in the Premier League than Reina in terms of long balls.
The Belgian found his target 6.3 times per game on average while Reina only managed a 5.2 times per game average.
Again, it all links in with being able to release the pressure over the defence, accurately hitting the ball long which will allow Liverpool to counter attack next season.
The only area this stat can be considered a worry is in the respect that Liverpool are a side that like to pass the ball out from the back, into the midfield and quickly up to the forwards.
Mignolet started all Premier League games last season, seven more than Reina.
Reina was injured for a very brief period but it’s proof that Mignolet can play just as consistently, if not more so, than Reina which means Brendan Rodgers won’t be afraid of using him at any point.
It enabled him to accumulate a slightly average rating than Reina from Premier League appearances over the course of last season.
What do you make of these stats? Have Liverpool bought themselves a gem?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald