Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has urged Simon Mignolet to be ‘more aggressive’ as he continues to track Victor Valdes’s return to full fitness.
The Spain international is reportedly being lined up by Liverpool to offer stronger competition for places at Anfield, with the club’s hierarchy unsure of Mignolet.
But Rodgers insists the Belgian international is his number one, and he has asked his goalkeeper to work on his relationship with the side’s defenders and become more commanding in his 18-yard box.
Mignolet is first choice
“He’s our number one keeper, he’s got plenty of experience,” Rodgers said as reported by the Daily Express. “He just continues to work on that relationship with the back four and deal with that.
“They key thing, and the message to all players in that situation, is make sure you are on the front foot. Be aggressive, don’t wait for it.
“He’s a bit of a laid-back type of person in his personality. But I think he’s aggressive.
“I don’t think Aston Villa targeted us with set-pieces. We just didn’t defend them well enough. We brought the nerves on ourselves.”
Rodgers’ style of play demands a goalkeeper confident in his own ability to play the ball out from the back. Mignolet, who was signed from Sunderland for a fee around £8m, is not the best with the ball at his feet and has had several nervy moments in the Liverpool system.
Rodgers insists Liverpool will find form
Valdes, who played in a similar set-up at Barcelona, would be the perfect signing for the Reds and he’s available on a free transfer after leaving Barcelona.
He was expected to join Monaco, but they dropped their interest after Valdes suffered his knee injury. He should be back fully fit by December.