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 By Mike Whalley

Bruce Grobbelaar: Simon Mignolet costing Liverpool

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar says the club must sign a replacement for Simon Mignolet, telling BBC Sport the Belgian is "worse than Dracula."

Grobbelaar made the comment in reference to the old joke about author Bram Stoker's vampire character being scared of crosses.

Mignolet, 26, has been ever-present in the Premier League for Liverpool since he arrived from Sunderland for nine million pounds in June 2013.

But the club's aborted attempt to sign former Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes as a free agent earlier this season is a sign that manager Brendan Rodgers is looking at other options.

And Grobbelaar -- who made 628 appearances for Liverpool between 1981 and 1994, winning one European Cup, six league titles and three FA Cups -- does not believe that Mignolet is good enough for the club.

The retired keeper feels Mignolet is not commanding enough, and a major reason the Reds concede so many goals.

"I've always said that," he said. "I've said that he doesn't command his area. Yes, he's a great shot stopper. I was slaughtered last year by Liverpool fans saying that I was being too harsh on him. I'm not being too harsh on him. Not at all.

"He's worse than Dracula, because at least Dracula comes out of his coffin now and then. He seems to stay on his line and that's it. The whole 18-yard area -- not just the six-yard area -- is the goalkeeper's, in this day and age, in modern goalkeeping.

"If you come out and get the ball, and you get smacked, you're going to get the foul -- it's not rocket science -- and he's a big lad. As soon as that ball's in the air, get out. Come for it. You're going to get a lot more fouls for you, and there'll be fewer balls going into the back of your net."

Bruce Grobbelaar says Simon Mignolet fails to command his area.

Liverpool finished second in the Premier League last season, but only had the division's eighth-best defensive record, conceding 50 goals -- two more than a Crystal Palace side who ended the campaign in 11th place.

Brendan Rodgers' side were able to cope with that because they scored 101 league goals, with 31 coming from Luis Suarez and 21 from Daniel Sturridge.

But Suarez left for Barcelona in July, while Sturridge has only played three league games this season after suffering hip and calf injuries.

Liverpool's attacking threat has suffered as a result, and they have continued to let in goals. In the Premier League this season, they have scored 15 and conceded 18.

Grobbelaar said: "From last season to this season, you think: 'What can the man do to steady the ship?' I've looked at it in all ways. You're taking out Suarez, who scored 30-plus goals, and now you haven't replaced him to get those goals back, you might be relying on Sturridge.

"Yet you let in 50 goals last season and came second. Any team who let in 50 goals should never be in second position in the first place. That was masked and brushed over because of the brilliance of Suarez and Sturridge scoring you so many goals.

"So Suarez is out, but you're still going to let in 50 goals. That's your problem. You're going to have to get a goalkeeper who can actually stop that, and only let in 30 goals a season maximum.

"Letting in 50, that's 20 goals you've got in your bag that you might get from your striker. You've got to shore it up at the back. Get yourself a goalkeeper who will only let in 30 goals a season, fewer than 30 goals a season."


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