Simon Mignolet has been one of the most underwhelming performers of the season. The Liverpool goalkeeper’s errors have directly contributed to the Reds losing multiple games from winning positions. Liverpool have made the most number of defensive errors in Europe’s top 5 leagues which illustrates the fact that they’re just not doing well defensively.
The strange thing with Mignolet is that he can have a run of really good games but he still possess plenty of silly mistakes in his arsenal and hence, cannot be relied. He will make for a good back-up option for the Reds but whether he will be content in being second choice to someone is another question.
Here are three goalkeepers who Liverpool should consider for next season.
Timo Horn (FC Köln)
Horn has constantly been linked with a move to the Reds and the Köln goalkeeper was recently scouted by the Reds. Klopp is reported to be most keen on the 22-year-old to take over the gloves from Simon Mignolet. Horn stands tall at 6’4” and his frame allows him to have control over the box and tower above attackers to make vital catches and good punches. He is also a leader at the back and is constantly giving instructions to his defenders. His shot stopping skills are also incredibly good and it is seen that Horn is called upon to make at least one difficult save in every game. The fact that he can do that is why Köln find themselves in a respectable eighth place in the league. His distribution is where he can improve, but at a team where the build up can be slow and from the back, he is likely to fare better.
With more than 100 first-team appearances for Köln and over 30 caps for Germany at youth level, he has plenty of experience for a 22-year-old too. Horn has a lot of potential and it seems Klopp is really keen on getting his compatriot to Merseyside. The player would certainly prove to be an upgrade on Mignolet, simply in terms of the ceiling of both players. With an apparent release clause of around £6.5 million in his current contract, he could prove to be a massive coup for the Reds.
Jack Butland (Stoke City)
The Stoke City goalkeeper was having a brilliant season before an injury cut it short. It’s no surprise that since he’s been missing at the back for them, the Potters have been conceding goals for fun. Butland is young and incredibly promising. At just 22, he displays maturity beyond his age, in both his conduct on and off the field. At 6ft 4in, he has a commanding presence in his area and his large wingspan helps him be an excellent shot stopper. His temperament is exceptional as well and you don’t see him get intimidated in big games. On the contrary, the former Birmingham star actually stands tall to the threat of quality opponents and more often than not, get a favourable result.
The fact that he’s English coupled with the fact that Stoke wouldn’t be keen on selling their highly promising first choice keeper, means he could cost a fair bit, but considering his age and quality, the steep price would be worth it.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona)
The Barcelona goalkeeper has been linked with a move to Liverpool almost everyday. The German seems to be annoyed at playing a bit part role for Barcelona as Claudio Bravo is Luis Enrique’s preferred choice. He’s excellent with his feet and is confident with great reflexes. Barcelona’s style of play requires a “ball-playing” goalkeeper, someone who can be an additional outlet of passing and can circulate the ball with efficiency from the back and the 23-year-old can certainly do that. He has great passing ability and makes few errors in judgement. What strikes out is his pass technique, which is not only brilliant for a shot stopper, but for an outfield player. Of course he has his weaknesses, for example, his decision making certainly can improve.
For now, Barcelona have a very good first choice or league goalkeeper. Bravo is traditional, does not do too many fancy things and at 31 years of age, is in his peak years. He is also experienced, which is so vital for a club who want stability at the back. Ter Stegen is clearly the future of the club but doesn’t seem patient enough to stay and simply play cup matches and a bit-part role. This is what Klopp should exploit. The German will certainly prove to be an upgrade on Mignolet and will be more than happy being the first choice at Merseyside. Liverpool will not face too much trouble landing the player as he seems more than happy to go to a place where he will get to play more. Barcelona wouldn’t be happy to part with him, but given that he’s second choice, won’t be too displeased and have the attraction to land a shot stopper who has the quality but is happy being on the bench for large parts of the season.