Liverpool have completed the signing of their new goalkeeper Loris Karius from German club Mainz. The 22 year old German goalkeeper has signed a long term contract with Liverpool after joining for a fee worth 4.7 million euros. Loris was in a great form at Mainz and is expected to continue this at Liverpool. Simon Mignolet has always been criticized by the Liverpool faithfuls for his performances and it is expected that the German goalkeeper will give a stiff competition to Mignolet for the position.
Though Mignolet is capable of making some excellent saves, he is still error prone and majority of Liverpool’s fans want him to be replaced. Here we will compare the two goalkeepers, based on their performances in the league over the season. (Stats via Squawka.com)
Both the goalkeepers are quite good at distributing the ball and starting the moves. Mignolet although has a better success rate with 66% to Loris’ 60%. Distribution of the ball is very important for a team and a goalkeeper who is good at it is an important asset to the team. Karius though, tends to kick as well as throw the ball slightly further and has a better average distribution length than Mignolet. The Belgian has a better distribution success rate through goal kicks in particular as he has only 92 unsuccessful goal kicks, 53 less than Loris’ 145. But when it comes to distribution of the ball through throws, Loris outnumbers Mignolet’s with 170 to 130.
2.) Shot stopping
Mignolet has always been considered as a good shot stopper and is capable of making some superb saves. But over the season, Loris has been better than Mignolet in this category. The German goalkeeper has an average of 2.53 saves per match and 2.1 saves per goal conceded. On the other hand, Mignolet has an average of just 1.53 saves per game and 1.27 saves per goal conceded. However, Mignolet did manage to keep 11 clean sheets over the season, 2 more than Karius’ 9. Loris is very good at defending corners and has the confidence required while coming out to collect the ball which Mignolet lacks. Mignolet has conceded 19% of his goals through corners, which is much more than the 7.1% of Loris. Both the goalkeepers have conceded the same number of goals, 42.
3.) Commanding the area
For defending corners and set pieces, it is important for the goalkeeper to command the 18 yard box. Mignolet has been severely criticized for his lack of conviction in attempted punches and collecting the ball. Mignolet has a success rate of 36% at punching the ball out of the area whereas Loris has a slightly better rate with 44%. But when it comes down to claiming the ball, Loris outshines Mignolet with ease. He has a success rate of 96%, much higher than Mignolet’s 82%. Liverpool have made 32 defensive errors this season, the maximum by any Premier League club and the reason behind this was improper organization of the defence for which the goalkeeper has to be blamed.
If the statistics are considered, Loris Karius seems a better option for Liverpool than Simon Mignolet. The difference in standards and the conditions between the Premier League and the Bundesliga have to be taken into consideration, but Loris commands his area well and most importantly, is less vulnerable to set pieces. If Loris can improve his distribution skill, it will not be too long before he becomes Liverpool’s first choice goalkeeper.