Jurgen Klopp reassures Simon Mignolet about importance of deputy goalkeeper role at Liverpool

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told goalkeeper Simon Mignolet that being the deputy to Alisson Becker is “not the worst job in the world”.

The Belgium international seemed destined for the exit following the £65million arrival of the Brazilian this summer for what was, at the time, a world record fee for a goalkeeper.

However, Loris Karius – to whom Mignolet lost his place last season – was the one to depart earlier this week on a two-year loan to Besiktas, with the Turkish club undertaking a option to buy for a further £7.25m should he meet certain appearance and European qualification criteria.

It left Mignolet facing another campaign as second choice and prompted him to give an interview in his homeland in which he said he still wanted to play and did not know what the future held for him.

Klopp was not happy the goalkeeper went public but understood his frustrations.

“It is true he will not depart, of course not,” he said ahead of Saturday’s early kick-off at Leicester.

“In general discussing your individual problems in public does not make too much sense, it is better to speak to each other, I’m a big believer in that. But it was still OK.

“We are all human beings and I have no problem with that, and if he was happy to be a number two then I wouldn’t really know him.

“He is a top professional, a top goalkeeper and of course he is not happy to be number two but at the end there are worse things in the world than being number two – pretty good pay by the way at Liverpool.

“In the first moment you understand decisions or not but it is always better to talk to me directly about it than to newspapers.

“It makes not too much sense, if you want to say something to me say it directly – that helps.”

Klopp took a different view, however, with Mohamed Salah‘s ongoing feud with the Egyptian football Association.

The forward has been in dispute with the organisation since before this summer’s World Cup over image rights.

There were further issues at the tournament, as the Egyptian FA decided to set up their training base in Grozny, leading to Salah being pictured with controversial Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

MohamedSalahEgyptRussia (1)

The controversy surrounding Salah and Egypt refuses to die down.

On Sunday Salah posted a message on Twitter which said: “It’s normal that a football federation seeks to solve the problems of its players so they can feel comfortable but really, what I see is exactly the opposite.

“It’s not normal that my messages and my lawyer’s letters are ignored. I do not know why this is all (happening)?”

Ramy Abbas, Salah’s lawyer and agent, sought to clarify the comments, saying they had asked for guarantees regarding Salah’s well-being while with the national team and assurances image-rights violations would not happen again.

Salah subsequently posted two videos to Facebook insisting he was asking for better security for the whole team, detailing how he did not want to be disturbed in his room by visitors wanting to chat in the middle of the night as had happened previously.

Despite the usually reserved Salah being so outspoken Klopp said he had no concerns over the player becoming distracted.

“About the thing with the Egyptian FA I can’t say too much, it is really something between the player and the FA,” he said.

“I spoke to Mo about that but it is not for us to intervene in that moment, to say something about that. They will solve that, I am sure.

“It is not about me so it is really between Mo and the FA, that is all I can say about that.

“As long as they talk about us pretty much everything is allowed – well maybe not everything, but a lot.”

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Alisson Becker warns Liverpool fans of more risky business

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Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker insists he only takes calculated risks on the pitch but warned fans with heart problems may be in for a tricky time.

The Brazil international, who arrived this summer from Roma for a then £65million world-record fee for a goalkeeper, has yet to concede a goal in three Premier League victories which have taken the Reds top of the table.

But it is other elements of his game which have caught the eye, primarily the use of his feet which was demonstrated in last weekend’s win over Brighton when he deliberately dinked the ball over the onrushing Anthony Knockaert and casually passed to team-mate Virgil van Dijk.

It was not the first such incident this season, or even in that match, and Alisson has warned supporters who have previously panicked when the ball was passed back to the likes of Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius it is something they should get used to.

“I have fitted perfectly in the team and in the team’s style of play,” the 25-year-old told ESPN Brasil.

“(Liverpool) like (the goalkeeper) to participate in the offensive phase and in shaping the game from the back.

“It gives me a lot of confidence to play with my feet and I have to be focused for 90 minutes.

“It is already calculated. I take risks. Fans with heart problems have to be careful!

“But on the pitch, as I said before, I do not try to make of fun of a rival. It’s not to show that I can do this or that, but to help the team. It is to achieve targets.”

Alisson’s style was one of the reasons Klopp was so convinced to bring in the Brazilian after just one season at Roma.

He communicated that faith to his goalkeeper on their first meeting and it is something which has stuck with Alisson.

“The chat I had with him is one of the things that left me more calm,” added the goalkeeper.

“He showed his interest in having me, not only the club’s interest but also his. It was a long interview despite my staggered English, but we understood each other well.

“He told me about how he works, how I would fit into the squad, how I also could grow personally here.

“He told me a little bit about the project – a project with a winning mindset.

“It’s a club that has everything to achieve big things. We have started the season very well, but we have to keep our feet on the ground.”

With the European transfer window closing on Friday, Liverpool still expect to offload a few more players following Sheyi Ojo’s loan to Stade Reims after signing a new contract with the Reds.

Lazar Markovic is interesting Standard Liege and Anderlecht, while there may also be late moves for Divock Origi and Pedro Chirvella.

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Gini Wijnaldum tops the Liverpool player ratings against Brighton but Sadio Mane gets just 5

Alex Broun 26/08/2018
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Mohamed Salah scored the only goal against Brighton

After Manchester City and Bournemouth were both held earlier on Saturday, the Reds took their chance to take top spot on the Premier League table – at least until Watford, Spurs and Chelsea are in action later in the weekend – by defeating Brighton 1-0 at Anfield.

The Seagulls arrived full of confidence after their victory over Manchester United last weekend and will count themselves unlucky to go away empty handed.

Here are our player ratings for Liverpool:

Alisson – 7: Almost caught out twice playing the ball in his own area – needs to learn he will have less time in the Premier League, two strong punches to turn defence into attack, great save on 88 minutes

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6: Early free kick which he smashed against the bar, worked hard down the right and tracked back well, won’t be pleased with some sloppy distribution and a missed late chance, replaced on 88 minutes by Matip.

Joe Gomez – 7: Had to be on guard to deal with the runs of Glenn Murray, nice move with Salah to put a header on target but directed it straight at Ryan, some questionable moments especially around the Brighton corner chance

Virgil van Dijk – 7: Very little to do defensively in first half, so took the opportunity to bomb forward, caught flat footed in second half and poor clearance led to corner where Brighton almost equalised, also mis-judged cross from which Gross almost got the equaliser, some cracks in the previously perfect armour

Andrew Robertson – 8: Superb cross to Firmino early on, and kept them coming during the match, great tussle with opposite number Martin Montoya , great run near the end almost set up the clincher

James Milner – 7: Superb tackle on Yves Bissouma to set-up Salah’s opening goal, usual rugged defence and excellent distribution to the wide men, gave away free kick in dangerous position.

Gini Wijnaldum – 8: Sat in the defensive midfield role with Milner and Keita in more forward roles, still got forward well with one shot stinging Ryan’s palms, some classy touches and worked hard right to the end

Naby Keita – 6: Nimble feet won a free kick on 13 minutes which TAA blasted against the bar, lifted his work rate in the middle of the park when Brighton were pushing hard for an equaliser early in the second half, subbed by Henderson on 66 minutes

Sadio Mane – 5: Strangely off kilter showing from previously in-form finisher, missed an early chance set up by Salah and some loose passing in the first half gave the ball away, missed another header on 34 minutes, quiet second half saw him subbed for Sturridge on 79 minutes

Roberto Firmino – 7: Looked like he is coming back to his best with some sharp touches, great header on nine minutes saved brilliantly by Mat Ryan, lovely assist for Salah’s opener

Mohamed Salah – 7: Double teamed all day, cut back to set up Mane superbly in just fourth minute, deadly finish with his first chance on 23 minutes, will be disappointed he didn’t do better with some other opportunities

Subs:

Jordan Henderson – 7: On for Keita on 66 minutes, steadying influence in the middle of the park, full of running, closed down well

Daniel Sturridge – 7: On for Mane on 79 minutes, some great touches and held up play nicely at the end,

Joel Matip – NA: On for TAA in 88th minute, present for one corner, first appearance since March

Overall – 6: Not Liverpool’s best but these were the sort of matches that the Reds were drawing last season, rode their luck to secure three points even when they perhaps did not deserve it, wins like this are the difference between competing for the Premier League or not

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