Simon Mignolet found himself in a frustrating position before leaving Liverpool for Club Brugge, and admits he was “at the end of his patience” at Anfield.
The 31-year-old was a model of professionalism during a difficult end to his time on Merseyside, training at the highest level and serving as backup to Alisson.
But after two seasons in the wilderness—one of which was largely spent as No. 2 behind Loris Karius—Mignolet was granted a £6.2 million move to Club Brugge in August.
Mignolet paid tribute to the club, its supporters and his team-mates in an open letter on his exit, reflecting that “there have been ups, downs and everything in between.”
In an interview with Het Nieuwsblad in his native Belgium, the stopper has provided a more realistic insight into his emotions during a frustrating spell on the sidelines at Liverpool.
“After pre-season, I returned with the idea: now I am going to give everything here and I get nothing in return,” he explained.
“However, that was the easy option: seeing out the remaining two years at Liverpool, making good money at a top European club and being a free agent the age of 33.
“But another two years on the bench, that wasn’t in me. I had been at the end of my patience for the past six or seven months.”
Jurgen Klopp‘s decision to keep faith in Karius throughout 2017/18 despite his struggles for consistency clearly struck a nerve for Mignolet.
When asked about the situation he insisted he would “not talk about it until the time is right,” but added that “that is something I will not soon forget.”
The goalkeeper seemingly took issue with Klopp’s dealing with his place as backup, too, responding to suggestions the manager was being hypocritical by conceding he would “respond to that at the right time,” and that Klopp had simply “said what should be said.”
Mignolet’s move to Bruges was portrayed as being with the blessing of the club he served for six years, but he also indicated that Liverpool were still only willing to do business at the right price.
“Not difficult? I don’t dare say that,” he replied, when asked about whether the Reds stood in his way at all.
Mignolet’s comments certainly point towards a bitterness within the Belgium international, though he acknowledged he would not have ousted Alisson.
But at least he is now able to play regular first-team football and, on Wednesday night, made his return to the Champions League.