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Mignolet Hits Out At "Strange" Klopp Decision As Irish Youngster Gets Massive Boost

Mignolet Hits Out At "Strange" Klopp Decision As Irish Youngster Gets Massive Boost
By Gavin Cooney

The Karius/Liverpool psychodrama is over: the goalkeeper has left the club to sign a two-year loan deal with Besiktas.

It means that Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet remains at the club, in spite of widespread expectation that he would leave. Mignolet signed with Liverpool in 2013, but has been consistently error-prone and eventually lost his spot to Karius midway through last season. Mignolet was linked with a host of clubs - Besiktas and, laughably, Barcelona among them - but now looks set to remain as Liverpool's backup to Alisson Becker.

Mignolet is unimpressed, however, and he made his feelings known to Het Laatste Nieuws in Belgium.

The transfer of Karius doesn't change anything for me. I have always been clear: I want to play.

Being number two or number three makes little difference. Playing minutes is the most important thing.

Nobody has said anything to me after the departure of Loris. So I don't know what my future at Liverpool is. We will see what happens this week.

I find it bizarre that Karius was loaned while I also had options to be loaned. But for some reason that was not possible.

A goalkeeper who was preferred to me last year may leave on a loan basis. Strange.

Should Mignolet end up forcing his way out of the club, according to the Liverpool EchoIrish youngster Caoimhin Kelleher will be second-choice to Alisson Becker.

The paper report that Kelleher has impressed Klopp to the extent that he is no longer seen as an Academy 'keeper, and instead a member of the first-team squad.

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The 19-year-old goalkeeper is now regarded by Klopp as Liverpool's third choice shot-stopper behind Alisson Becker and Simon Mignolet.

The Republic of Ireland youth international is ahead of fellow rookie Kamil Grabara in the pecking order.

Klopp, his backroom staff and the club's senior players have been blown away by Kelleher's development. He's now viewed as a first-team squad keeper rather than an Academy player.

It was Grabara who was on duty for Liverpool Under-23s against Manchester City on Friday night, while Kelleher warmed up with Alisson and Mignolet before Saturday's Premier League clash with Brighton at Anfield

His progress at Melwood is the reason why the Reds didn't seriously consider signing a back-up keeper this summer.

Klopp has spoken on record about Kelleher's improvement, as he told Balls after a recent pre-season friendly with Napoli.

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He is an outstanding talent. Outstanding. Very cool with the ball, you saw that in pre-season when he played in front of 100,000 people, that he wasn't bothered about that which is a very important skill to have. For most of his youth he was an outfield player, he has fantastic reactions.

If nothing serious happens, he will have a really fantastic future. I don't know how many really good goalkeepers that Ireland have but one more is never a big problem. I like him a lot and he will be in our squad.

See Also: De Gea Contract Standoff Lays Bare Absurdity Of United's Transfer Business

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