Manchester United tried to sign Club Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet during the summer transfer window three years after Premier League rivals Liverpool sold the Belgium international for £6 million, according to Het Laaste Nieuws.
Now, with Mignolet in the form of his life right now, some are attempting to frame Liverpool’s decision to accept Club Brugge’s bid back in 2019 as something of a mistake.
An ‘incomprehensible’ error; to quote former Rote Duivels ace Rene Vandereycken. This argument, however, misses a rather important point. Mignolet, towards the end of his Liverpool career, was not exactly performing miracles between the sticks, like a Flemish-speaking Alisson Becker. He lost his place to Loris Karius for the 2018 Champions League final for a reason.
If Mignolet had stayed on Merseyside, it’s unlikely he’d have enjoyed such a remarkable resurgence in his mid-30s either. That parting of the ways in 2019 has worked out pretty well for everyone. Liverpool brought in a world-class replacement. And Mignolet, free from the blinding spotlight of English football, is thriving back home in Belgium.
Manchester United tried to bring ex-Liverpool man Simon Mignolet back to England
“What Simon Mignolet showed today, that’s fantastic,” Club Brugge’s general manager Vincent Mannaert told VTM; the 34-year-old keeping a clean sheet for a fourth successive Champions League game during last week’s 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid.
“At the moment, Mignolet is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. A world-class goalkeeper. Belgium have (Real Madrid’s) Thibaut Courtois and Simon Mignolet, who are among the top five goalkeepers on the planet.
“What he has shown in the first four games (in the group-stage), it’s great. With his performances and his attitude, he gives confidence to the young players. He’s more than an excellent goalkeeper. He’s someone who is capable of raising the level of the group.”
According to HLN, Club Brugge resisted Manchester United’s attempts to bring Mignolet back to the North West last summer; Erik ten Hag in the market for an experienced understudy for David de Gea. Ajax came calling too, before Mignolet signed a new deal until 2026.
United would bring in Martin Dubravka from Newcastle instead. They could return for Mignolet in 2023, however, with Dubravka only on loan at Old Trafford.