Out with the old in with the new, it seems at Liverpool FC. Sunderland’s Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet looks to be Liverpool’s new number 1, with Jose Manuel Reina looking elsewhere – with FC Barcelona and Arsenal as possible suitors.
But, what exactly are Liverpool getting themselves in the 24-year old Belgian goalkeeper?
Well, to begin, Mignolet, for the past two seasons, has triumphed over Reina in some areas.
In terms of big chances faced and saved in the last two years, Jose Manuel Reina has faced 82 and saved 31% of those chances, while Simon Mignolet has faced 120 and saved 45%.
In terms of goals conceded from these chances, both have conceded 38 big chance goals, but Mignolet has saved 31, Reina has only saved 17 – which can be argued that Mignolet is effectively 14 goals better than the Spaniard.
Well it can be argued that Reina has a better clean sheet ratio than that of Mignolet.
Despite playing seven games less than Mignolet – Reina kept 14 clean sheets in 31 games, (conceding 34) while Mignolet kept 11 in 38, (conceding 54). Although, it can be argued Reina plays behind a much more assured back four, compared to Sunderland’s back four – who were in turmoil for the majority of the season under Martin O’Neill and had to wait to be secure from relegation until the last week of the season.
Reina Vs Mignolet – Distribution
Distribution is key when comparing the two goalkeepers, even more so now as Brendan Rodgers bases his team on a possession based game, and needs his goalkeeper to have distribution as well as an excellent shot stopping ability.
Jose Manuel Reina played a total of 692 of open play passes, 490 of those were accurate – a 71% pass completion. Mignolet, however, played a total of 746 open play passes, of which 309 were accurate – a 41% pass completion. Reina conquers over Mignolet in terms of pass completion, a nearly 30% increase over Mignolet – Reina has a 71.32% pass completion, compared to 42.2% for Mignolet, which includes throws and goal kicks. The Spaniard comprehensively beats the Belgian in that respect. Brendan Rodgers will need his goalkeeping coach, John Achterberg to work on that side of Mignolet’s game in pre-season.
Reina Vs Mignolet – Goalkeeping stats
While Mignolet may have conceded more goals than Reina, the Sunderland keeper impressed with his shots saved stats. In 38 games, Mignolet made 149 saves – Reina made 73, Mignolet doubling the shots saved to that of Reina. In terms of minutes per save, Mignolet had a save to make every 22.95 minutes, Reina used his gloves every 38.22 minutes.
Mignolet also overshadows his new potential team-mate in terms of crosses captured. Mignolet has caught 47 high crosses into his box, while missing three crosses into his, while Reina caught 31 high crosses in his box, but missed 10 crosses into his area. The modern goalkeeper has also turned into a player who not only catches a cross, but has the command of his area to also punch incoming crosses and corners out of the box. Mignolet has 39 punches to his name, Reina has 17. Sounds more like a review of a boxing match than a comparison of two goalkeepers.
Minutes per defensive error has also sways Mignolet’s way – with 1,170 minutes per defensive error, while Reina lasts only 465 minutes per defensive error.
If Mignolet is to compete with Reina as Liverpool’s new number one, or whether Reina completes a transfer to another team – it’s clear that Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool have a gem of a goalkeeper that can be Liverpool’s number one for years to come.
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