Liverpool news

Mignolet relishing Reina battle

July 6, 2013
By Kristan Heneage

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has told ESPN FC that he is relishing the prospect of fighting Pepe Reina for the No. 1 spot at Anfield.

Simon Mignolet
GettyImagesSimon Mignolet is hoping the move to Liverpool will help him to improve as a goalkeeper.

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Belgium international Mignolet, 25, joined the Reds late last month from Sunderland, signing a five-year deal.

His arrival has added to speculation that Reina could be on his way out of the club, with Barcelona regularly linked, but Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has insisted that he has no intention of selling the Spaniard.

Mignolet, who has to compete with Thibaut Courtois at international level, says it would be a positive if Reina does stay as he believes having to compete can only bring out the best in both players.

"That's always what has happened when there's competition," he told ESPN FC. "I've had competition in Sunderland and in Belgium with the national team.

"It's not only Pepe - there's a lot of good goalies at Liverpool, like Brad Jones for example - and it's not only the position of the goalie where there is competition. It's every single position on the field.

"There's only 11 players who can play and it is something that is normal with being a football player. You have to deal with that. Competition can only make you as an individual better and let you perform better. It can only be a positive thing."

Mignolet has been impressed by the plans Rodgers and goalkeeper coach John Achterberg have in taking the club forwards.

"From the talks I had with him [Rodgers] and the goalie coach I felt they were very ambitious and the club wants to get forward," he said. "The signings they'd already done before July showed they really wanted to get going. They want to push on again in the Premier League. It was obvious that they are an ambitious club and a big club."

Even so, he is still adapting to life at Anfield and said he is finding it "hard to understand" Liverpool's magnitude.

"I know how big a club this is but I think I'm only going to feel it once the games get going," he added. "The first few training sessions went okay. I'm very happy to be here and train."