Opinion: Liverpool's number one problem, the goalkeeping department

The reds are currently in a predicament with their goalkeeping situation currently threatening to derail their season before it has already begun

Opinion: Liverpool's number one problem, the goalkeeping department
The injury to Karius has presented a problem for Jürgen Klopp (image: liverpoolfc.com)

For Liverpool fans the signing of Loris Karius was a firm step in the right direction but following the injury to the German it seems that it is back to square one.

Simon Mignolet now seems to be the man that Jürgen Klopp will entrust to keep the opposition out but can the Belgian recover from a season that was marred by a number of errors?

Injury woes

Loris Karius suffered a broken hand following a collision with Dejan Lovren (image: liverpoolfc.com)
Loris Karius suffered a broken hand following a collision with Dejan Lovren (image: liverpoolfc.com)

The shock injury to Karius came as a major blow to the reds just when the 23-year-old was beginning to settle in with his teammates during pre season.

The goalkeeper has been ruled out for two months with a broken hand after colliding with Dejan Lovren during his side's 1-0 loss to Chelsea last Thursday.

With Liverpool set to kick off their Premier League campaign away to Arsenal on August 14 Karius will not be a feature and Mignolet will likely be the man between the sticks.

Despite the Belgian maintaining a clean sheet in the reds' 2-0 win over AC Milan in the following match he failed to assure confidence as a miscommunication between the no.22 and Andre Wisdom allowed Roma to score a second and go on to win the game.

Mignolet may have been presented with a golden opportunity to prove himself to the fans and the coaching staff but it seems that the problems of last season are starting to creep up once more. 

The Manninger effect

Manninger is a shock candidate to take the reigns in front of goal (image: thisisanfield.com)
Manninger is a shock candidate to take the reigns in front of goal (image: thisisanfield.com)

When Alex Manninger signed for The Reds last month, it was deemed a strange move by some fans but the experience shot stopper may play a larger part than first thought.

Despite the attention being placed on the health rivalry between Karius and Mignolet it seems that the former Augsburg could potentially creep into Klopp's plans.

The 39-year-old was signed on a short term free deal from German side Augsburg with a potential coaching role rumoured to be a part of the agreement.

While the Austrian did concede during Liverpool's 2-1 loss to Roma, he received rave reviews from fans on social media, with some pushing for the former Juventus keeper to remain ahead of Mignolet.

It remains unlikely that Manninger will steal the goal-keeping spot from his younger counterpart the fact that it was even suggested shows the extreme lack of faith that some fans maintain in the former Sunderland shot stopper.

Statistical breakdown

Breaking down the statistics of Mignolet vs De Gea (image: yahoo.com)
Breaking down the statistics of Mignolet vs De Gea (image: yahoo.com)

With the overall perception of Mignolet rather unfavourable there is question over why that it is, but do the statistics for the Belgian reveal the foundation for the question marks over his status?

Comparing the no.22 to one of the best goalkeepers of last term David De Gea raises some issues:

Average Saves Per Game: Mignolet managed to achieved a score of 1.53 saves per game while the Manchester United shot stopper notched an impressive 2.24. While this statistic may speak volumes over the Red Devils' defence seeing the Spaniard achieve a much higher rating they also conceded nine goals less at 41.

Average Claim Success: One major issue that seems to irk many fans is the fear of seeing the 28-year-old come out to collect the ball from a corner of free kick. The keeper may have a high(ish) rating of 82% he pails in comparison to De Gea's 93%.

Average Goals Conceded: The defender of the posts for The Reds concedes a goal more than once every game on average at 1.24 while the former Atlético Madrid only had a score of 0.97 per game.

Judging by the stats it seems as though Mignolet is not that far behind De Gea, but it seems that his main issue is his claiming (catching) with some work he could become the confident figure he has always had the potential of becoming.

His distribution success at 66% was actually better than the United no.1 achieved 62%, his accuracy in delivery is an under-rated part of his game and something that Klopp could look to utilize more.

But for all the postives there shall exist a disturbing negative for Mignolet who last season was the most error-prone goalkeeper in the Premier League, as his eight faults leading to goals placed him no.1 on the list that nobody would want to be on.