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Mignolet accepts Liverpool back-up role behind 'best' Alisson

13:40 GMT+3 28/01/2019
Simon Mignolet Liverpool
The Belgium international was keen to leave Anfield after slipping down the pecking order, but is now feeling more comfortable in a support position

Simon Mignolet is finding it easier to accept a back-up role at Liverpool, with the Belgian aware goalkeeping rival Alisson is “up there with the top five in the world, if not the best”.

Jurgen Klopp moved to bring in a No.1 last summer, with £65 million ($86m) invested in a Brazil international.

Mignolet had already started to slip down the pecking order before that deal was done and had been hoping to secure a switch in order to find regular game time elsewhere.

He was, however, retained as Loris Karius and Danny Ward headed for the exit and has been forced to accept a supporting role at Anfield behind a man who has slotted seamlessly into the fold.

Mignolet told the Liverpool Echo he can live with his position as Alisson’s understudy, saying: "Yeah, I can accept it easier now.

"It's also the fact that the team is playing so well. Ali has been so important for the team.

"He has shown his strengths. He's up there with the top five 'keepers in the world, if not the best.

"He's a very natural goalkeeper. He's got a lot of talent and he's very fluent, he doesn't really think about stuff. It's all natural to him.

"He's playing as the No.1 for Brazil in front of Manchester City's goalkeeper [Ederson] - that says enough, really. I can accept that slightly better."

Mignolet, who has made more than 200 appearances for Liverpool since joining the Reds in 2013, also believes his presence has helped Alisson to adapt to the demands of English football.

He added: "Ali and I work well together. We have a very good relationship.

"I've picked up a few things from him and he's picked up a few things from me.

"I've been playing in the Premier League for 10 years now and certain things are different here compared to abroad. He asks me some questions and I try to answer them.

"He's very calm on the ball and I try to replicate that. I think I showed it in the FA Cup game against Wolves. We can bounce off each other and learn off each other.

"I respect him, not just for the player he is, but also for the person he is."

Mignolet, who has made just two cup outings this season, remains under contract at Liverpool until the summer of 2021.