Former Liverpool favourite Phil Thompson doesn’t believe under-fire goalkeeper Simon Mignolet should be dropped, but accepts that manager Brendan Rodgers might need to sign competition for the Belgium international this winter.
Mignolet, 26, joined Liverpool in June 2013 for around £9 million after three successful seasons at Sunderland, replacing long-time starter Pepe Reina between the posts.
Rodgers named him one of the Premier League’s top keepers at the time of his arrival, but a series of error-strewn performances this season have seen him come under increasing criticism from fans and the media alike.
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With his struggles contributing to the club’s underwhelming start to the campaign, Thompson acknowledges that the 14-times capped stopper’s confidence is damaged, but doesn’t think that replacing him with current backup Brad Jones is the answer.
“It’s so difficult for the guy, he’s having a hard time,” he told Sky Sports.
“He’s a great shot-stopper, though. Should he be replaced? No, I don’t think so.
“Brad Jones isn’t as good a goalkeeper as Mignolet but, if his confidence is shot, then they might have no choice but to take him out.
“But, in my opinion, he should still be in there. Maybe the answer might be for him [Rodgers] to sign another goalkeeper in January.”
Liverpool have been linked to a host of potential replacement keepers in the wake of Mignolet’s plight, with the likes Victor Valdes, Iker Casillas, Asmir Begovic, Kiko Casilla, Neto, Timo Horn and Mattia Perin all mentioned as possible options.
Another name to crop up in rumours in recent weeks is Chelsea’s now-number two Petr Cech, who Thompson believes the club would have to consider were he to become available on the market.
“It’s a difficult one, but I’d say they’d have to think about,” he said.
“Petr Cech is still one of the best goalkeeper in the Premier League and surely he can’t be happy sitting on the bench all the time at Chelsea.”