Liverpool legend Steve Nicol has urged Reds manager Jurgen Klopp to sell back up goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and sign Cardiff City shot-stopper Neil Etheridge instead.
The Belgian has been at Anfield since 2013 but looks set to leave in search of first team football this summer. Nicol, however, believes he has found a perfect replacement for him in the 62-cap Philippines international.
“I think this would be a good signing,” he told ESPN. “Mignolet has to go – Mignolet has to go and play. You need a back up who is going to be happy to be there, who’s of a certain level that whenever something may happen to Alisson, you’re going to put Etheridge in and he’s going to do a great job.
“He’s going to be professional. He’s not going to be pulling off spectacular saves, but you know what you’re getting. He’s decent with his feet, he does all the basics right. So I think this is a good signing. He’s 29 years old, he’s been around. I think this is a great signing for him and a good signing for Liverpool, as well.”
Nicol hits the nail on the head, here. Etheridge isn’t a sensational ‘keeper but he proved this season that he is very solid at Premier League level. He’s experienced and he seems to have a good head on his shoulders, so he’d likely be an ideal back up shot-stopper for the Reds. Obviously Mignolet looks almost certain to leave this summer as he searches for first team football, and so Liverpool will be looking for someone to replace him as Alisson’s deputy. Etheridge would be ideal. He’s a solid ‘keeper who has been there and done it, but he would still view a move to Anfield as being a big enough deal to be worth his while despite the severe reduction in first team football that would await him. The big thing will be just that: is Etheridge willing to sacrifice first team football to come to the European champions and warm Alisson’s seat on the bench? That is the crux of the issue, here. However, if Liverpool can get him in then the Cardiff man would be ideal as Mignolet’s replacement.