Why Klopp should back his compatriot Loris Karius for the 2018/19 season
Liverpool fans would still be hurting from their side’s 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Kiev in May. Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius was largely at fault for conceding two sloppy goals which ultimately decided the game.
For the first goal, Karim Benzema intercepted his routine throw out of defence to deflect the ball over the goalline. Sadio Mane equalised for Liverpool shortly after but second-half substitute Gareth Bale produced a stunning overhead kick in the 64th minute to restore Los Blancos’ lead.
Real Madrid then scored their third goal when Bales’ speculative shot from distance passed through Karius’ hands. It was a night to forget for the German custodian, who was seen crying and apologising to the travelling Liverpool fans after the game.
Liverpool have since been linked with a number of goalkeepers over the summer. The club have reportedly identified Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker as their number one target. Alisson is currently representing Brazil at the ongoing World Cup.
But do Liverpool really need a new goalkeeper this summer? Apart from Karius’ blunders in the Champions League final, the German had an impressive run-out. Karius and Liverpool kept the most number of clean sheets in the Premier League since January as he dislodged Simon Mignolet from the starting line-up.
Karius played 19 Premier League games last season, keeping 10 clean sheets, while Mignolet managed just 3 clean sheets in 14 league appearances. On the other hand, Alisson kept 17 clean sheets in 37 Serie A games in the 2017/18 campaign. The Brazilian had a better saves-per-game record as compared to Karius, who mostly looked confident and composed between the sticks last term.
Karius made a number of crucial saves in the Premier League as Liverpool finished in the top-four for the second consecutive season. There are reports stating that Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has ended his interest in signing a new goalkeeper and has decided to stick by Karius, despite his horror showing in the Champions League final.
Klopp isn’t the kind of manager who is ruthless with his players as he often provides them with another chance to prove themselves. In Karius’ case, the goalkeeper should certainly be given another opportunity to redeem himself.
Karius is a brilliant shot-stopper and has the potential to become one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. Klopp should start with his compatriot as his number one between the sticks next season and give Karius a regular run of games.