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Should Liverpool look to Replace Mignolet with Ter Stegen?

Our Spanish football expert, UEFA-accredited journalist Jason Pettigrove, takes a look at one player who might be swapping La Liga for the Premier League…

 

Here we are, a week or so into the new year and the January transfer window.

The time of year when scribes like yours truly are working overtime deciphering just what constitutes a solid transfer story over another rumour. It can be a hard slog but often it doesn’t take too much detective work over the web to find out the source of a particular story, scurrilous or otherwise.

 

One rumour of note that has done the rounds for a little while now has been a potential move for Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen to Liverpool.

 

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The link is perfectly understandable because the young German has been on the record as saying that he isn’t happy at Camp Nou.

As is his right at just 23 years of age, ter Stegen remains fiercely ambitious. He is the potential heir at international level to Manuel Neuer yet is being kept out of Barca’s La Liga selections by Claudio Bravo, a custodian some nine years his senior.

 

No blame can be attached to Bravo of course; the Chilean captain goes about his business in much the same manner as his contemporary. But clearly ter Stegen’s international pedigree is harmed by only sporadic club appearances.

 

He won’t come cheaply mind.

 

If Jurgen Klopp can construct a deal that is appealing to the Catalans, Barca will be looking for a quick profit.

 

Signed for just €12m from Borussia Monchengladbach, Liverpool can’t expect any change from a minimum €20m bid for the player.

 

Klopp has of course recently dismissed the notion of signing his countryman but reading between the lines, there is a suggestion that this is more because he doesn’t want to unsettle or upset current incumbent Simon Mignolet.

 

The Belgian stopper was recently noted as having kept the most clean sheets in the Premier League in 2015. To that end you’d expect everyone to be happy but there is evidently still nervousness on the part of Liverpool’s defence as well as the management team.

 

The back four appear not entirely happy with Mignolet behind them.

 

Mignolet is certainly nowhere near as commanding as ter Stegen, nor does he have the level of accuracy with his passing, something the German does with aplomb.

 

Furthermore, at 23 it’s obvious that ter Stegen has a lot of growing to do so whilst he’s very good already, he’s only going to get even better.

 

Given the longer shelf life of a goalkeeper, it’s entirely possible that there is 10,12 or perhaps even 14 years worth of football left in ter Stegen’s career. €20m then begins to look like a bargain especially if he takes over the reins for his country. His current issue is one of consistency whereas Mignolet is indisputably Liverpool’s number one at this point with weekly employ almost guaranteed.

 

On that basis, the attached Squawka comparison matrix for league games only is a little lopsided. Yet we can clearly see just how much better the German is in certain aspects, particularly distribution accuracy and pass completion.

There’s also a slightly higher ratio of saves per goal by ter Stegen. Clean sheets have been mentioned already – and in fairness it was a rocky start to ter Stegen’s La Liga campaign.

 

Goals conceded between the pair are on par with each other but perhaps the other most damning statistic is the amount of punches from either keeper. Mignolet quite obviously prefers to clear any danger with his fists, but in so doing can leave his defence exposed if not executed properly.

 

Ter Stegen is calm, confident and authoritative and has only seen the need to punch the ball away on a single occasion.

 

Arguably the Premier League would suit the German and if he’s got any say in the matter, he’ll be pleading for Klopp to come and save him from stagnating on Barca’s bench for the majority of the rest of the season.

 

Three weeks left of the window and you never say never in football. Watch this space!

Screenshot 2016-01-07 at 20.40.51

 

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Screenshot 2016-01-07 at 20.43.07

 

 

 

Have you downloaded our FREE app yet? Pick your best 5-a-side lineup for EVERY Liverpool match and every other Premier League fixture each weekend!

Available for both i-os and android, or alternatively you can play via our website!

 

 

 

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