Jurgen Klopp made it clear last season that he didn’t need the services of either Adam Bodgan or Simon Mignolet, with Alisson Becker the obvious first choice. Mignolet has gone to Club Brugge, with Bogdan still looking around for a new club.
Adrian came in on a free transfer to Liverpool after becoming a free agent, not offered a new contract at West Ham United. The Spaniard was seen as a clear understudy to Alisson and few believed that a third choice would be close to a debut.
But as Liverpool were cought in injury troubles, and with Karius out on loan, few had heard of the 35 year old former Leeds United, Preston North End and Middlesbrough goalkeeper. Jurgen Klopp signed him up and it was a surprise to see Lonergan in goal for this well respected club and he made a great impression on Jurgen Klopp when he was on trial.
So how could Andy Lonergan end up on a trial at Liverpool in the first place, later becoming an alternative to really be in goal for this club. Last season Jurgen Klopp sold Danny Ward to Leicester City for a fee of £12million, and Mignolet went out this season for a fee believed to be £6.4million. Both Adrian and Andy Lonergan came in on a free.
Lonergan should not be faulted in any way, being a goalkeeper close to international recognition for Republic Ireland, and as a young goalkeeper at Preston North End seen as one of the most promising young prospects in the game, playing 10 times for England U.20’s.
He was given his big breakthrough in football by David Moyes while at Preston North End, spending 11 years at Deepdale and being part of big promotion push and play off’s with the Lillywhites in 2006 and 2009. Lonergan left Preston in 2011, starting a journey around in football which has seen him being understudy and loaned out, and also from time to time been first choice.
Moves to Leeds United (twice), Wolverhampton, Middlesbrough, Fulham and Bolton has been the life in recent years. Lonergan has played close to 400 league games for his different clubs and latest seen in League 1, playing on loan at Rochdale.
If he makes his debut for Liverpool this weekend in Premier League, he will be the oldest English debutant to do so, and with all the records and trophy hunts under Jurgen Klopp, why not settle a new record as well.
It’s been a trend around in those bigger football clubs to add a very experienced goalkeeper to the squad as they are chasing trophies. When Leicester City won the PL in 2015/16 they had a certain Mark Schwarzer on the bench. A player in his starting 40’s, and we have seen Robert Green at Chelsea, Richard Wright in Man City and Lee Grant at Manchester United, all in their mid or late 30’s, and Lonergan add this up as a phenomena in Premier League.
We wish Andy Lonergan all the best in his chase for a Premier League appearance, but that he would make the switch from playing at Rochdale and go on to play for Liverpool was a scenario few could have seen happen.
Lonergan will not make his Liverpool debut all in all since he was involved in the game v. Sevilla in pre-season so he has been in the shirt allready and Jurgen Klopp is a man that knows what he does, so this is just a clever act by the German magic man.