Klopp Handed Big Transfer Problem By Reds ’Star Who Is Almost Impossible To Replace

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp doesn't have a lot of work to do in the summer transfer market – but one player could give him a problem.

It was less than an hour after the final whistle in Madrid that Simon Mignolet sent out a tweet to his 1.42m followers.

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The Belgian had just watched his captain lift the European Cup into the night sky after a 2-0 victory over Tottenham when he took to his phone to congratulate Alisson Becker on another clean sheet.

“Another HUGE performance between the posts,” Mignolet tweeted, before joining the Brazilian to celebrate alongside young goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher and coaches John Achterberg and Jack Robinson.

It was typical of Mignolet, who has shown his professionalism and class during the season, playing just twice as understudy to Alisson, who cost Liverpool upwards of £65m when he arrived from Roma last summer.

In fact, Mignolet would have liked to have left there and then, but Loris Karius' move to Besiktas saw the former Sunderland man told to hang on. He won't have been pleased about that decision but you'd never know about it.

The big Belgian doesn't whine, it's just not his style. Not even when he had to watch Karius take his place in the Reds side last year before Liverpool's dreams were dashed in Kiev.

Mignolet admitted as much earlier this season, telling the ECHO it was “easier to accept” playing second fiddle to a player of Alisson's quality.

So nobody could resent Mignolet when he lifted the European Cup above his head in Madrid, he deserved it as much as anyone.

The 31-year-old hadn't made a single appearance in the Champions League but the victory was for the work put in outside the public gaze, as well as the six years he's spent at Anfield.

It may be bittersweet, but Mignolet eventually got his hands on some silverware at Liverpool and the images of him holding the trophy could be his last in the club's jersey.

Because Mignolet is sure to quit Anfield this summer.

And when he does, he'll leave a huge hole in Klopp's squad and hand his manager a difficult problem in the transfer market.

Don't believe us? Just ask Klopp, who praised Mignolet on a number of occasions this season. Just ask Alisson, who knows Mignolet allowed him to raise his game to new heights this campaign.

And just ask James Milner, who singled out Mignolet for special praise this year, telling the ECHO that his team-mate “has the best attitude I’ve ever seen in my life”.

That aside, there aren't lots of clubs who can boast a second goalkeeper as accomplished as Mignolet.

A veteran of 245 Premier League games, he would walk into most sides in the league.

So where do the Reds look in trying to find the best replacement for Mignolet?

It says a lot that Liverpool are already being linked with Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, an experienced player but one who lacks the ability of the current Reds understudy.

The other option is to try to buy a young, up-and-coming goalkeeper, a route Gerard Houllier once tried when he brought in Jerzy Dudek and Chris Kirkland on the same day. That experiment ended with neither man really developing the way the Reds would have liked.

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It's a tough predicament for Klopp and Liverpool, and what's certain is that they'll do well to find somebody with the same class as Mignolet – both on and off the pitch.

(Liverpool Echo)

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago

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