In May of 2015, Simon Mignolet was voted Liverpool’s player of the year by the former players association, to the general bemusement of a lot of fans and observers. He had not yet achieved the notoriety that followed him the next season but had already been dropped for a brief period that season, with Brad Jones being his replacement. With due respect to Brad Jones, any self-respecting goalkeeper of note would hang his head in shame if that were to happen to him.
However, in a disappointing first season, after Luis Suarez departed, and poor individual seasons spread all around the squad, Mignolet ended up losing out to Joe Hart by only one clean sheet in the race for the Golden Glove. Surprisingly, that battle went all the way until the last day of the season.
He had more clean sheets than any other Premier League goalkeeper in 2015 and was rewarded with a new five-year deal by Jurgen Klopp in January 2016.
While Mignolet was always prone to an occasional error, it was in 2016 that he developed a bit of a reputation as a Jekyll and Hyde character. While he has always been an excellent shot stopper, his kicking was never one of his strongest suits, and in Klopp’s system, it was horribly exposed. This part of his game, along with his preference for punching rather than catching balls directed into the box, led to a few high-profile mistakes. Opta compounded matters by releasing a stat in April of that year, showing Mignolet to be the player who had committed the most errors leading to a goal that season.
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