Simon Mignolet

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by @paul_baker

The international break is now fully upon us and with the break from Premier League football,  this will give Brendan Rogers the time to review the season so far and hopefully plan how he will attempt to fix the erratic problems that have effected the Reds performances since August.

The defence has once again been poor. It has been under the spotlight more so then last season, because the goals have not flowed in at the other end. This is of course down to the loss of Luis and the fact that Daniel has been out.

With several new players to settle in and ones returning from long term injuries, it is going to take time. The problem is, the side can’t really afford many more slips ups if they hope to keep pace and fight for a top 4 finish come May. The loss of Champions League football next season would be a disaster!

One area Rogers will surely be looking to improve is the number 1 spot. Simon Mignolet is a great shot shooter, but is weak with crosses, poor on set pieces and fails to always dominate his penalty box. He seems to lack the voice that defines top keepers.

The other concern that Rogers will have, what if Mignolet picked up a injury or was sent off? It would leave him short of cover.

He is now in his second season at Anfield and really became number 1 by default. Pepe Reina left the Club on loan and Brad Jones is never really going to push him out of the side. Maybe the best thing for Simon would be some healthy competition. He would then have the required motivation to improve his game.  It would also give him somebody else to train with.

By adding a top goalkeeper, it would allow Rogers the opportunity to rest or even drop Mignolet if he feels like he requires a rest or break from the side. England No:1 Joe Hart was dropped last season and he seems stronger then ever because of it!

With goalkeepers in mind, the Club have been heavily linked with Victor Vlades. (32). The ex Barca man enjoyed 12 years at the Nou Camp and is available to join the squad straight away, as he is a free agent.

First, he would need to prove his fitness.  Vlades suffered a career threatening injury with his knee and because of the injury, he has not played first team football for months. If he comes to Anfield for a trial and passes a fitness test then, Rogers looks keen to add him to the squad.

The Clubs transfer policy is normally to buy younger players, who can be coached and improved and will always retain a future sell on value. This is a good overall policy, but given the issue with the goalkeeping area and the fact a ready made replacement is available and will cost the Owners no transfer fee, it would be worth signing Vlades to offer competition. The Club will then have brought themselves some time to seek out a long term replacement. The owners could then return to policy,  by signing a younger player and potentially loaning him back out to add experience and game time.

If any deal happens to be done, there is a good chance that it will be over the next couple of weeks.

It will be once to keep a eye on!