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Liverpool: Andy Lonergan joins Reds’ pre-season tour of USA

Liverpool: Andy Lonergan joins Reds’ pre-season tour of USA

Liverpool have turned to a 35-year-old goalkeeper with no Premier League experience to solve a problem position ahead of their pre-season tour of USA.

The Evening Standard reported that free agent Andy Lonergan has joined up with the Reds after being released by Middlesbrough at the end of last season.

Simon Mignolet had been the only other goalkeeper available to Jurgen Klopp, with Alisson Becker on holiday after playing for Brazil in the Copa America, Kamil Grabara going on loan to Huddersfield and academy duo Caoimhin Kelleher and Vitoslav Jaros both injured.

Lonergan was a Preston player for 11 years before subsequently lining out for Leeds, Bolton, Wolves, Fulham and Middlesbrough, as well as having an emergency loan spell at Rochdale last season.

If anything was to happen to Mignolet over in the U.S., the absence of any backup goalkeeper could have been somewhat of an issue.

That Klopp turned to 35-year-old Lonergan, who has never played in the top flight, may initially seem something of a surprise but it does obviously reduce the risk of a goalkeeping crisis in the worst-case scenario. Indeed, the German is the man who rather surprisingly brought Alex Manninger to Anfield back in 2016, so he does have previous in turning to experience to plug a short-term gap.

Since leaving Fulham in 2016, Lonergan has played 15 games for Wolves in 2016/17, nine for Leeds the following season and nine in total for Middlesbrough and Rochdale last term.

A tally of 33 first-team appearances in three years in the Football League, where a league season has 46 games before play-offs are factored into the equation, is rather slim.

Lonergan has kept just one clean sheet in each of the last two seasons at senior level, in which time he has shipped an average of two goals per game.

One area where he has a good track record, though, is saving penalties. Lonergan has faced 60 penalties in his career (not including shoot-outs) and saved 11, stopping one penalty out of every six.

The likelihood is that Lonergan is merely filling a gap and, once Alisson and Kelleher return, his services will no longer be required by Klopp.

However, to get Liverpool through their pre-season preparations, his inclusion in the Reds’ squad is clever.

Liverpool fans, are you happy that Lonergan is on board or is the lack of available goalkeepers a real concern? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

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