Loris Karius is eligible to make his debut for Liverpool after his successful recovery from injury, but will Klopp start him against Chelsea?
Anybody watching Simon Mignolet on Saturday will know that he played out of his skin. Despite a miscue between the Belgian shot-stopper and Lucas Leiva which resulted in a goal, there was very little wrong with the way the former Sunderland goalkeeper played against Leicester.
Of course, there was still Mignolet’s passing to contend with but that was pushed to the back of my mind when I saw just how brave he was in coming for the ball at set-pieces. He was rewarded for his bravery by a few scrapes and a bloody nose. By the end of the game, he looked like a heroic character from a Tarantino film.
And why was the keeper we know to be so dismal playing like Manuel Neuer? There is genuine competition for his starting place and he has realised that very soon he could find himself sitting on the bench for the rest of the season.
This competition that I speak of is not the same as when Brendan Rodgers gave Mignolet the hook and instated Brad Jones and said the Belgian was out of contention indefinitely but was reintroduced after a couple of games as Jones picked up an injury.
Karius has come to England to be Liverpool’s number one goalkeeper, he’s even got the shirt, but judging by Mignolet’s performance against Leicester, he’s right up against.
Jurgen Klopp, on the other hand, is loving it. What more could you want? Aside from a quality left back and defensive midfielder.
Speaking to reporters after the 4-1 win over Leicester, Klopp said, “I knew when we signed Karius that we now have two really strong goalkeepers.”
“That was the plan but unfortunately Loris broke the bone in his hand which is not too cool for a goalkeeper.
“But he is now back. There is no pressure or something; that is the challenge and competition.”
I do wonder, however, if Klopp will actually play Karius right away. Making your debut in the Premier League is no small matter, least of all against Chelsea. Karius would be pitted against Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, two of the league’s in-form players. I can’t imagine Klopp dropping Karius in the deep end. It’s more likely that he’ll make his Premier League debut for Liverpool against Hull, in what will be a less intense introduction.