He started the season in doubt and with a knee injury, but may end it with his third national title in a row. Since Simon Mignolet (34) arrived at Club Brugge in the summer of 2019, blue and black have been champions every season. Now as well? It is possible, judging by three impressive statistics about his clean sheets at Club.
Three clean sheets in play-offs, 15 in total
“We have nothing in our hands yet and must remain calm,” it sounded this week after Union’s victory. Mignolet is an ice bunny and talisman at the same time during these Champions’ play-offs. Three clean sheets in a row, zero goals conceded after three games, and that in full title battle. There was a time when the Gabulovs, Vermeers and Butelles did a lot less well. With 15 clean sheets in the league this season, only Moris (16) is doing slightly better. Mignolet’s statistic is no coincidence, by the way. He already kept Union from scoring a goal before half-time, and he also intervened a few times at Anderlecht. On match day 1 he saved the furniture at Haroun’s only Antwerp chance. If Mignolet keeps zero again on Wednesday evening, it may well be that Club Brugge can put the champagne cold. But then it also scores itself sometimes.
No goal against in almost 40 percent of matches Club
Mignolet of course has the advantage that he plays for a Belgian top club, but since the Red Devil has been in goal at Club Brugge, he has kept his nets clean in almost 40 percent of all official games. European duels included. Mignolet has so far played 137 times for Club: 52 times he did not concede a goal. In the Jupiler Pro League, that statistic itself approaches almost 50 percent. By comparison, as a goalkeeper at Liverpool, Mignolet came out on a clean sheet percentage of about 32 percent.
Third title in a row?
And so Mingolet is close to a third title in a row with Club Brugge. In the summer of 2019, after a stunt transfer, he took his place in goal… never to leave. Since then, two titles and a Supercup have graced his palmares. If Club makes it later, Blauw-Zwart has been champion every season since Mignolet defended the goal. The cavalry run that Verhaeghe and co had to complete in search of an excellent goalkeeper was long and difficult. But at Mignolet it was bingo. And given his contract runs until 2025, more prizes may be on the way.