Profile of Adam Bogdan

When Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers decided to leave Simon Mignolet out of the first team as soon as the club’s Champions League interest ended in December 2014 he took a risk in that the only recognised understudies to the Belgian were the experienced but 32-year-old Australian Brad Jones and the inexperienced 21-year-old Welshman Danny Ward. If anything happened to Jones (and it did; he had to leave the field with an injury at Burnley on Boxing Day) it would leave the club very short on cover for the important position of goalkeeper. Even though Mignolet’s form improved when he returned it was clear that he needed someone to put more pressure on his place in the team. Ward going on loan to Morecambe during the closing weeks of the 2014/15 season suggested that Rodgers felt that he was not the man to put that pressure on. So it wasn’t a secret that Liverpool were looking to add another goalkeeper to the senior squad. Nor was it a surprise that the man they chose was the Hungarian Ádám Bogdán because he had been linked with a move away from Bolton Wanderers when it was realised that his contract with The Trotters ran out in the summer of 2015.

Bogdán was born in the Hungarian capital of Budapest and his fledgling career began at one of the city’s main clubs, Vasas Sport Club. He never played for their first team though but did gain some useful experience on loan representing Vecsési FC, another club in the Budapest area. His decision to leave his homeland in 2007 at the age of 19 and move to England was key to his development as a professional footballer. By choosing Bolton Wanderers he knew that he would have to be patient because the man he had to dislodge there was the hugely experienced and talented Finn, Jussi Jääskeläinen, who already had the best part of a decade in the English game behind him and who hardly ever missed a match. Bogdán made his Bolton debut in a League Cup-tie in August 2010 and his League debut came a few days later because Jääskeläinen was serving a suspension after being sent off. Bolton were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2011/12 season and when Jääskeläinen rejected their offer of a new contract this was the chance that Bogdán, now 24-years-old, had been waiting for. In the next three seasons he played in eighty Championship matches for Wanderers but the club did not ever look like making a quick return to the top division with finishes of 7th, 14th and 18th. Although the goalkeeper signed an extension to his contract (and honoured it) his final Bolton match came at home to Birmingham City on the 2nd of May 2015. Ádám Bogdán was ready for a new challenge.

Bogdán arrives at Anfield having played in more English League matches for Bolton (104) than Mignolet has played for Liverpool (74). Both were 27-years-old at the time of Bogdán’s transfer being confirmed. Because goalkeepers’ careers often extend longer than most outfield players it isn’t too relevant that they are the same age. What is important is that Mignolet knows that there is now a credible replacement ready and eager to take over and that did not really apply in the cases of Jones and Ward.

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