Liverpool should replace Simon Mignolet with Asmir Begovic

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There's no denying that Simon Mignolet hasn't cut the mustard since his £9 million move to Liverpool in the summer of 2013.

The Belgian arrived on Merseyside and replaced fan-favourite, Pepe Reina, in the Reds' net and has occupied the position since. 

However, the shot-stopper has been far from convincing in the Liverpool net and his place in between the sticks has come under severe pressure of late.

Last season, Mignolet was on the end of several high-error mistakes, memorably in the 2-1 defeat against Manchester City on Boxing Day when wrongly positioning himself for Alvaro Negredo's effort, and the two points dropped seen Liverpool finish runners-up to the Citizens in the Premier League - a draw would have seen the Reds top the table.

This term, it seems that the 26-year-old is really struggling for confidence and looks unconvincing in the net. There's no doubt he is a superb shot-stopper, as displayed most recently when dramatically denying Bojan in Liverpool's 1-0 win over Stoke City at the weekend.

However, Mignolet's decision-making is unsatisfactory and is prone to far too many errors. Too often, he does not emerge from his goalmouth, dubbed 'worse than Dracula' by Kop legend, Bruce Grobbelaar, and when he does come to collect the ball, a lot of the time he fails to grasp and creates problems for his side.

There have been plenty of rumours that Reds boss, Brendan Rodgers, is keen to bring another goalkeeper to the shores of the River Mersey in the January transfer market to give Mignolet competition for his place in the Liverpool starting XI.

Petr Cech

Five years ago, nobody could ever imagine Cech moving away from Stamford Bridge. The Czech Republic international was one of Jose Mourinho's first signings during his first stint as manager starting in 2004, and became part of Chelsea history.

The shot-stopper has won countless trophies with the Blues, including the Champions League in 2012 and is without doubt, a legend in West London.

This season, however, Cech has played a different role at the club. 

Thibaut Courtois had been on loan at Athletico Madrid for three seasons after signing from Genk in 2011, and aided the Spanish outfit to capture the La Liga title as well as reaching the European Cup final last campaign.

He was sent to Spain to gain experience playing at the top level, and certainly proved himself playing under Diego Simeone. Mourinho snapped up the chance to bring him back to Chelsea in a heartbeat and has commanded the 'keepers spot for the most part this season.

Still only 31, Cech has plenty of years ahead of him. There's no doubt that every inch of his ability remains and is still amongst the ranks of one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

He is blessed in stature, standing at 6ft 5in, and uses his frame to make thrilling saves.

He too commands his box, something Liverpool have badly been missing since Reina left the club.

But, Cech will not come cheap and will cost around the £10 million and Liverpool will have stiff competition from a host of European clubs to sign the shot-stopper.

It's too unlikely that Chelsea will sell to Liverpool, given they are a potential rival and especially after how much Daniel Sturridge achieved when he switch Stamford Bridge for Anfield in 2012.


Victor Valdes

If you want a goalkeeper who has won trophies, Valdes is your man with six La Liga titles and three Champions League victories to his name.

He was part of the Barcelona side who were unstoppable in their peak and inspired his boyhood club to victory on multiple occasions.

If Rodgers is looking for a 'keeper with passion and someone who will control the Liverpool defence, Valdes is his man.

His voice can be heard from row Z in the stands, roaring to organise his defence and is always on his toes to collect the ball.

At the end of last season, the 32-year-old was released by the Catalan giants and has since been a free agent.

For an experienced shot-stopper who will command the Reds' back-four, he could be a smart purchase.

Liverpool were linked with his signature earlier this year, waiting for him to recover from a knee injury, but, turned the club down when not guaranteed a starting place in the side.

Since, he's been training with Manchester United and despite having returned to Spain, it suggests he will look to continue his football in his native country.

Valdes is too not the most convincing of goalkeepers. He is too, prone to mistakes and prefers to parry the ball instead of catching it, which has got him into trouble in the past.


Iker Casillas

Casillas has been there and done that.

The Real Madrid legend has been playing at the top level for years, but is still only 33 and has captured three European Cups and five Spanish titles.

He was once regarded as one of, if not, the best goalkeepers on the planet and made some astonishing saves that kept his place at the Santiago Bernabeu untouchable.

Complacency kills the sailor is an old saying, and this quote is applicable for the Spanish international's career.

He went without any competition at Madrid for years and eventually, his performances began to deteriorate and was making far too many mistakes and letting in simple goals.

Jose Mourinho dropped him for the second part of the 2012-13 season, preferring Diego Lopez, and Carlo Ancelloti did the same and only played Casillas in cup ties.

The Los Blancos skipper played in every game during Madrid's Champions League victory in 2014, but, made a crucial error in the final against rivals, Athletico,and almost handed them the title.

There's no doubt that Casillas is talented, but you have to question whether his confidence is the same as it was ten years ago. Being dropped from the Madrid side will have badly hurt him and even when he plays today when regaining his place in the 'new Galaticos' side, he does not look the same.

He certainly would not come cheap, and is not that much of an improvement than Mignolet.


Kasper Schmeichel

He's a goalkeeper who has been flying under the radar of late, but has a lot of talent.

Son of the legendary Peter, the 28-year-old always had a massive reputation to live up to. He started brightly at Manchester City, but was loaned to several teams including Bury and Coventry City, before eventually making a permanent move to Notts County.

Impressive performances saw him move to Leeds United, and then Leicester City and last season aided the Foxes to win the Championship and gain promotion to the Premier League for the first time in ten years.

Despite Leicester struggling for form, Schmeichel's efforts have been creditable and made a number of excellent saves to stop games being a cricket score.

His style of goalkeeping is identical to his father's - always on his toes ready to spring off his line and makes himself as big as possible when strikers are one-on-one with him and is not scared to give his defence a telling off if something isn't going to plan.

He's a solid goalkeeper, but the only niggling doubt could be if he can handle such a drastic move to the Reds.

This is the first time he's really played his football at the top level and another move to a big side could really unsettle him for confidence, bringing out mistakes.


Norberto Neto

The Brazilian has been linked with several moves away from Fiorentina over the past few months, and Liverpool are one of the clubs leading the hunt.

The 25-year-old made a huge impression last season in Serie A, where his performances helped the Florence-based outfit finish fourth in the table.

He's carried on that form this season, putting in numerous world-class appearances and has attracted top sides such as Juventus for his signature.

Brendan Rodgers' style of play encourages playing football from the back, and Neto brings this just to the table. His ball skills up there with the best amongst shot-stoppers, and could really fit in to the Liverpool side.

One thing questionable is the language barrier that could prevent him being a leader at the back.

It's been known this season that the Reds have had five different nationalities playing in goal and the defence, and it has badly disrupted communications. The likelihood is that Neto does not speaking English and there would be even more confusion if a Portuguese and Italian speaking shot-stopper added to that situation.


David Marshall

Last season, Marshall was one of the finest goalkeepers in the Premier League. His performances he put in for Cardiff City were immense, and he almost single-handily helped the Dragons avoid relegation.

It's surprising that the Scotsman has remained playing his football with the now Championship side, and nobody has taken the opportunity to snap him up.

Marshall is reminiscent of an old-fashioned goalkeeper; he keeps things simple and does not do anything fancy, yet has plenty of success with the way he plays.

It was rumoured that Arsenal were chasing his signature last season, but had a big rejected as the Welsh side attempted to survive in the Premier League.

Cardiff have seen Steven Caulker leave the club in a big money deal to QPR, and chairman, Vincent Tan, could be tempted with a big money offer for Marshall if one was to come in.


Asmir Begovic

It's surprising that Begovic is still playing at Stoke City, given his talents he highlights every season on a consistent basis.

The Bosnian is without a doubt one of, if not, the Premier League's best shot-stoppers, and does not have a chink in his armour.

He showed his talents to Rodgers in Saturday's game against the Reds, when making several saves to keep all but one effort out in the 1-0 defeat.

The estimated fee for Begovic is £15 million, a hefty fee for a goalkeeper. 

However, he looks Liverpool's best bet to join in January.

It's strange that the Merseyside club did not go for him instead of Mignolet at the start of last year, given both could have been available at a similar price. 

It's been the Potters' goalkeeper who has been by far the better since, proving his worth at the Britannia time and time again.

He has everything that appeals for the Reds; age on his side at 27, Premier League experience, an ability to command his box and is faultless the way he goes about his business.

The club may have to pay a fair sum, but Rodgers should consider a deal that possibly sends Mignolet the other way. If this is rejected, pay the money for a top-class goalie.


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Iker Casillas
Victor Valdes
Simon Mignolet
Premier League

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