(Reuters) - Liverpool goalkeepers Simon Mignolet, Lorius Karius and Danny Ward must all prove themselves and fight for a regular spot in the starting line-up, the Premier League club’s manager Juergen Klopp said.
Belgium international Mignolet has been the preferred shot-stopper for Klopp, playing 31 games last season, with the German Karius limited to 16 games. The duo now face competition from Ward, a Wales international.
Ward, 24, spent last season on loan at Huddersfield Town and helped the club gain promotion to the top tier, making a crucial save in the play-off final penalty shootout to help his side beat Reading.
“That’s very comfortable for the manager, three really good goalkeepers,” Klopp told the club’s website.
“It is like it is and nothing is decided. They can all show how good they are. I don’t want to bring doubt so that they start doubting. We have three goalkeepers and they can all show what they are able to do, and then we will see who will start.”
Mignolet, 29, said competition for a starting spot would be tough but the club’s success next season is the top priority.
“All the goalkeepers will push each other to make sure we’re ready for the games that are coming our way,” Mignolet told the club’s website.
”Of course you always do that (work to keep your place in the team) but the most important thing is that Liverpool plays a good season. So we have to make sure we prepare that as a group and then, of course, individually, (playing) is also important.
“But the team comes first and the club comes first to make sure we create success. That’s the main thing throughout this pre-season and then hopefully we can prove that over the course of the season.”
All three keepers will have a chance to show their mettle during Liverpool’s pre-season campaign, which starts on July 12 against non-league side Tranmere Rovers.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich