The Belgium international may have signed a new five-and-a-half year deal in January but hopefully Liverpool’s thinking was to add value onto the goalkeeper’s price tag and not securing a supposed valuable piece of the Jurgen Klopp puzzle. Simon Mignolet has continued his inconsistent form under the German, disproving any suggestion that Brendan Rodgers’s open approach hindered his number one. Mignolet is error-prone and despite having a reputation as a good shot stopper, the former Sunderland man has conceded 40 goals in 29 games in the Premier League this season. Although he made an impressive penalty save to deny Sadio Mane at St Mary’s on Sunday, the 28-year-old will have been disappointed not to get a fingertip to any of Southampton’s three goals. It is worth remembering that his bizarre clearance in the 86th minute prompted chaos in his defence which led to Mane’s winner. If Liverpool are to progress under Klopp, Mignolet needs to vacate the number one shirt.
If there was any doubt surrounding the frosty relationship between Christian Benteke and Klopp then their exchange after the final whistle appeared to signal a disconnect between the pair. The former Borussia Dortmund manager took issue with the substitute’s second-half miss with the score-line delicately balanced at 2-1. Danny Murphy and Alan Shearer were critical of Klopp’s decision to chastise his striker in view of the cameras, but perhaps it was a sign to the Liverpool board that Benteke isn’t his man. You only need to take a look at the stats to comprehend Klopp’s lack of faith in the £32.5m signing: Benteke has started just seven of Klopp’s 21 Premier League games in charge. Whether Liverpool will be able to recoup their huge outlay is another question!
The imminent arrival of Joel Matip from Schalke means Klopp will probably need to lose one of his centre-halves this summer. Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho have forged a promising partnership in recent weeks since their respective recoveries from injury. Kolo Toure, 35, continues to provide back-up and looks dependable when called upon. Even Lucas Levia has impressed in the heart of Liverpool’s defence as a makeshift centre-half. Unfortunately for Martin Skrtel, he could be the odd one out. Liverpool have conceded six goals in Skrtel’s last two Premier League games which some have suggested isn’t a coincidence. The 31-year-old has been a loyal servant to the Reds since his arrival in 2008 and for a while, he was Jamie Carragher’s successor as the dependable rock in Liverpool’s defence. But with Lovren and Sakho entering their prime years, it is time to move Skrtel on when he still has some resale value.
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