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Rodgers: Mignolet signed to add competition

4 July 2013 19:16

Brendan Rodgers insists Simon Mignolet has been brought to the club to compete with Pepe Reina, rather than replace him.

The 24-year-old joined from Sunderland last week and will battle with Reina and Brad Jones to be first-choice goalkeeper at Anfield.

Mignolet faces a similar battle to establish himself ahead of Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois for Belgium, the latter being favoured in the most recent 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Having made nearly 400 appearances for Liverpool, Reina would appear most likely to start next season in Rodgers’ starting XI if he is still at the club, despite speculation of a return to Spain refusing to disappear.

That would severely dent Mignolet’s World Cup hopes should Belgium reach Brazil, but Rodgers views his switch to Anfield as a positive move for his international future.

"I was very open with my goalkeepers and they know the situation," Rodgers told the club’s official website.

"Pepe has been terrific here, Brad Jones was excellent when he stood in last year, and I felt we needed another one.

"Simon comes in and we've got great competition, and when you've got competition it pushes everyone to perform.

"We obviously lost a young goalkeeper in Peter Gulacsi (joined Red Bull Salzburg) so we needed three very capable goalkeepers - and we've brought in Simon Mignolet, who's one of the top young goalkeepers in Europe.

"He's shown that at Sunderland over the last few years.

"He's got great stature and I think he was player of the season at Sunderland - and I really think he can improve on that talent.

"He's part of the Belgian set-up and it's really their golden era of players. Him coming here will hopefully increase his opportunities there also."

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