Simon Luc Hildebert Mignolet born 6 March 1988 is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Liverpool and the Belgium national team.
Mignolet started his career with Belgian Second Division side Sint-Truiden in 2004, and spent six years with the club, making 100 senior league appearances and scoring a goal. He moved to Premier League side Sunderland in June 2010 for £2 million, spending three years with them and making 101 appearances across all competitions before moving to Liverpool in June 2013 for £9 million.
Mignolet has represented the Belgium national team at every level from under-16 upwards. He made his senior debut in 2011, has since earned over 15 caps. He was also named to Belgium’s 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
After being invited for a training ground tour, Mignolet signed a five-year contract with English Premier League club Sunderland on 17 June 2010 in a deal worth £2 million. It was later confirmed by Sint-Truiden that Sunderland had beaten PSV, Twente and Udinese to secure Mignolet’s signature.
Mignolet made his Sunderland debut in a 2–2 draw against Birmingham City on 15 August 2010, and was named man of the match for his performance. In the next home match, a 1–0 victory against Manchester City, Mignolet kept his first clean sheet for Sunderland, following an excellent reaction save to deny Emmanuel Adebayor a goal. Mignolet put in another fine performance against Arsenal, as Sunderland drew 1–1 after Darren Bent equalised in the 95th minute. However, Craig Gordon would replace Mignolet in goal several weeks later, and remained first-choice thereafter. Mignolet did not feature again until 8 January 2011, when Sunderland suffered a loss at home to Notts County in the third round of the FA Cup. Mignolet would become first-choice goalkeeper again after a knee injury to Gordon in February, and earned a string of rave reviews for his performances. Following the draw, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce hailed the young goalkeeper’s fine start to life in English football. Mignolet cemented his position as first-choice goalkeeper the following season, being preferred to new signing Keiren Westwood. On 29 October 2011, Mignolet was injured during a 2–2 draw with Aston Villa, suffering a broken nose following a collision with Emile Heskey.
Mignolet played every single match of the following season, keeping a large number of clean sheets and producing several man of the match performances. His form prompted Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart to praise Mignolet in December 2012 as being the best goalkeeper in the league so far that season. On 21 June 2013, it was reported Liverpool had agreed a deal to sign the player for around £9 million.
On 25 June 2013, Mignolet signed with Liverpool for a reported fee of £9 million on a five-year contract. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hailed Mignolet as being “one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League”. On 13 July 2013, he made his unofficial debut for Liverpool in a 4–0 win in a pre-season friendly over Preston North End. On 17 August 2013, Mignolet made his official debut in the 1–0 home win against Stoke City at Anfield. In the 89th minute of the match, he saved a Jonathan Walters penalty, as well as Kenwyne Jones’ follow-up shot, to preserve Liverpool’s lead and effectively win the match. He then recorded two more clean sheets against Aston Villa and Manchester United, with both matches ending 1–0 in favour of Liverpool. Two weeks later, he conceded his first goals for Liverpool in the Premier League in a 2–2 draw with Swansea City, though he was still named man of the match for the fixture. Mignolet was also named man of the match in the 3–3 draw with Everton, making nine saves throughout the match.
On 14 December 2014, Mignolet’s run of 53 consecutive Premier League starts came to an end as he was replaced by Brad Jones in the starting 11 against Manchester United, with Brendan Rodgers saying Mignolet would be dropped for an “indefinite period”. However, 12 days later, Jones went off injured after 16 minutes away at Burnley, and despite some errors, Mignolet kept a clean sheet in a 1–0 victory. After this match, Mignolet kept four consecutive clean sheets against Sunderland, Aston Villa, West Ham United and Everton respectively. On 10 February, Mignolet made some outstanding saves against Tottenham Hotspur in a 3–2 win. On March 16, Mignolet continued his resurgence in a 1–0 victory against Swansea, keeping a clean sheet as part of a strong performance. On 22 March, he saved a penalty taken by Wayne Rooney in a 2–1 defeat against Manchester United.
On 18 January 2016, Mignolet signed new five-year deal with the club Eight days later, he saved a penalty from Stoke City’s Peter Crouch and Marc Muniesa in a penalty shoot-out to send Liverpool to the 2016 Football League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.
Although he started the first five matches of the season, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp dropped Mignolet in favor of new signing Loris Karius on 24 September 2016 for the match against Hull City. On 24 October 2016, Klopp confirmed Mignolet was no longer Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper and that he will be given cup matches instead. However, Mignolet returned to the starting lineup for the team in Premier League in December 2016. On 23 September 2017, Mignolet saved his club-record 8th penalty, preserving a 3–2 victory over Leicester City. On 26 December, Mignolet and teammate Philippe Coutinho both made their 200th appearances for Liverpool in a 5–0 Premier League win over Swansea.