Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has left Liverpool on a permanent basis, completing a move to Belgian side Club Brugge, the club announced on Monday. He leaves for a reported fee of $7.8 million that could rise to $10 million with add-ons.
With the move, Mignolet ends a six-year tenure at Anfield that saw the Belgian international make just over 200 appearances for the Reds, including 155 in the Premier League, keeping 51 clean sheets. Mignolet spent last season backing up new arrival Alisson, appearing just twice, both times coming in domestic cup losses.
In fact, Mignolet had lost his place midway through the previous season with Loris Karius having taken over the starting spot between the sticks, a move that would have a disastrous ending in the Champions League final.
The 31-year-old came to Liverpool from Sunderland in 2013 for $12 million, where he had been for three years prior. He posted a classy goodbye to Liverpool and Reds fans on his social media account, calling it “an incredible honor to represent one of the biggest clubs in the world and to achieve things that few players ever manage to achieve.” He called the current crop of players he leaves behind “the best [squad] I’ve ever been a part of” and says of the Champions League victory earlier this summer, “I’ll never forget that night in Madrid, and I’m glad I got to share it with such a terrific group of lads.”
Mignolet moves back to his native country with the hopes of continuing his international career, where he’s earned 22 caps. The 31-year-old remains a part of the international setup, but has mostly served as a backup since late 2011 with Thibaut Courtois owning the brunt of the playing time over the past eight years.
Club Brugge finished second in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League last season, just two points behind rivals Genk. Mignolet represents a huge test for a goalkeeping crew at Club Brugge that includes the incumbent starter, 24-year-old U.S. international Ethan Horvath, as well as Coratian youth international Karlo Letica. Horvath started the final 18 league games for Club Brugge last season as well as the first two games of the current season.