Simon Mignolet may need to start looking over his shoulder at Liverpool, with interest in Genoa’s Mattia Perin confirmed by the Italy U21 international’s agent.
No formal approach has been made, but the mere fact that scouts have been dispatched to Serie A should set alarm bells ringing for the current first-choice shot-stopper at Anfield.
Mignolet’s performances since signing from Sunderland in 2013 have been mixed, to say the least, with questions raised on a regular basis as to his concentration levels and ability to deal with high balls fed into the box.
It is not just at domestic level that doubts have started to creep in either, with Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois inheriting the number one jersey with the Belgium national side.
Having already surrendered one starting berth, is Mignolet in danger of losing another to a player of considerable promise and one being closely monitored by clubs across Europe?
Perin’s agent, Matteo Roggi, has told Pianetagenoa1893.net: “Liverpool looking at Mattia? I have heard the rumours but I can say that there is nothing concrete at the moment."
“It is normal for a goalkeeper like Mattia to be closely followed by big Italian and foreign clubs."
“It’s true that Liverpool have sent scouts over to Italy three or four times to see his professional growth, but that is as far as the interest goes."
“I haven’t been in contact with the English club, and I don’t think that Genoa have either.”
Having invested £9 million in Mignolet and seen him complete just 17 months of a five-year contract, is talk of a change slightly premature?
Looking at the 26-year-old’s Premier League stats, it is clear that the keeping of clean sheets has become something of a problem for Liverpool, but the blame cannot be laid solely at Mignolet’s door. After all, Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sako, Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique have hardly been models of consistency in front of him.
|Season||Clean Sheet||Goals Conceded||Saves||Punches||Accurate Goal Kicks||Cross Not Claimed||Appearances||Mins Played|
Mignolet would appear to be punching less, which should help to ease the nerves of the Anfield faithful, and he continues to make around 2.6 saves a game and produce an impressive number of accurate goal kicks.
It may be a little early to be looking elsewhere, but Brendan Rodgers and his backroom team would appear to be offering a gentle reminder to their man between the sticks that no-one is irreplaceable and that certain standards have to be maintained if you are to remain one of the first names on the team sheet.