Wednesday 26 June 2013
Liverpool have announced their fourth signing of the summer with the acquisition of Sunderland and Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
The 25-year-old has signed a "long-term" contract at Anfield and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was happy at completing the deal.
"Simon is one of the top goalkeepers in the Barclays Premier League"
"I am delighted that we have been able to sign one of the top goalkeepers in the Barclays Premier League," Rodgers told liverpoolfc.com. "Simon will join a club that will give him an opportunity to demonstrate and improve his huge talent."
Mignolet signed for Sunderland from Sint Truiden in 2010 and has made 90 appearances in the Barclays Premier League for the Black Cats, keeping 11 clean sheets while being ever-present last season.
Despite such form and winning 13 international caps with Belgium, Mignolet acknowledges he faces competition from Pepe Reina and Brad Jones for a place in the Liverpool goal.
"It's a challenge, but that's what you want," Mignolet told liverpoolfc.com. "You want to play in the big games, you want to play for a big club and to play with pressure.
"I'm very confident in myself and my own abilities and I can't wait to get the first clean sheet under my belt. I've never been a nervous person. I'm quite confident in my own abilities.
"I can't wait to get the first clean sheet under my belt"
"Competition can only be a good thing. I've been in big competitions wherever I've been - in Belgium with the national team and in Sunderland with Craig Gordon and Keiren Westwood, who are international goalies. Now it's the same again with Pepe and with Brad."
Mignolet will join fellow new signings Kolo Toure (from Manchester City), Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo) and Luis Alberto (Sevilla) when pre-season starts next month and he leaves Sunderland with the gratitude of head coach Paolo Di Canio.
"Simon is a fantastic footballer, a fantastic professional and a fantastic lad and I would like to personally thank him for his contribution to the team last season," Di Canio told the club's website.
The Sunderland head coach said that the sale of Mignolet will help him to add to the four signings he has made so far as he prepares his team for the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong next month.
"I would like to assure our fans that there is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes," Di Canio said. "Our aim is to build a competitive squad for the new season and this deal will give us further ability to strengthen the side."