While Liverpool have been linked with a move for Fiorentina goalkeeper Norberto Neto this month, club legend Steve Nicol has told ESPN FC that he is backing the under-fire Simon Mignolet to keep his number one spot moving forward.
Mignolet, 26, has come under increasing pressure from fans and the media alike this season following a series of error-strewn performances, with backup Brad Jones starting three games over him last month as a result.
The club have been linked to a host of potential replacements in the wake of his plight, with the likes Asmir Begovic, Kiko Casilla, Petr Cech, Timo Horn, Mattia Perin, Sergio Romero and Marc-Andre ter Stegen all mentioned as options, but the favourite at this point in time remains Neto.
A £2 million price tag is reported to have been put on the Brazilian shot-stopper this week but, while Nicol believes he might prove a decent addition, the former Red defender isn’t convinced that he would be an upgrade over Mignolet.
“I don’t think it would be a bad move, but I’m actually a Mignolet fan,” he said. “I’m not one of those that have been on his back.
“At this same time, though, he doesn’t have a decent backup to push him, and Neto would do that well.
“He’s 25 years old but still hasn’t got a senior cap for Brazil, so he’s a little bit of an unknown,” he added.
“There’s no question he would push him, but I still think Mignolet is the number one.”
Joining Liverpool in June 2013 for around £9 million after three successful seasons at Sunderland, manager Brendan Rodgers labelled Mignolet one of the Premier League’s best keepers at the time of his arrival, but it’s clear that the Belgium international’s confidence is now shot.
A better option than Brad Jones to at least push him for the starting role seems like an absolute must at this point, but whether Neto is the man for the job remains to be seen.