Simon Mignolet has a great future ahead of him at Liverpool, according to David James.
The Belgium international has managed to rescue his Reds career after the shot stopper made an error-strewn and nervous start to the season.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers resorted to dropping Mignolet for three games earlier this season before the Reds number one received a lifeline thanks to Brad Jones’ injury.
The 26-year-old has been much improved since his return to the first-team, and former Liverpool goalkeeper James is encouraged by Mignolet’s recent form.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Simon, and I think he’s got a great future. He will become a better goalkeeper for his experiences, I think,” James told Liverpool Echo.
“Simon has come in and had a full season straight away. And apart from the final couple of weeks, he’s had a really good season, nearly winning the league. He was under enormous pressure, and he wasn’t awash with clean sheets, because the team was more about attacking and less about defending.
“Suddenly, the fact that Liverpool were conceding goals was a problem, because they weren’t scoring so many at the other end. There was always going to be more pressure on the backline and the goalkeeper.”
Mignolet has the joint-best record in terms of clean sheets in the Premier League this season, racking up an impressive 13 shutouts to match Southampton and England goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
The Belgium has the chance to emulate James and reach an FA Cup final with Liverpool when the Reds face Aston Villa in the semi-final at Wembley on Sunday.
Former England goalkeeper James made a famous mistake in the 1996 cup final which allowed Eric Cantona to score a late winner for Manchester United.