Liverpool signed Loris Karius in the summer and he is yet to make a competitive appearance after breaking his wrist in the summer, but Klopp says he could start tonight.
After Karius broke his wrist against Chelsea on Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the United States, Jurgen Klopp was forced to start Simon Mignolet in goal for the opening six games of the season.
Karius, after making a successful recovery from the surgery to repair his hand, will start tonight against Derby County in the third round of the English Football League Cup if there are no complications before the game.
“Yes, if nothing happens,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference when asked if Karius will play against the Rams.
“In the moment when we signed him, you can imagine we thought ‘he’s not too bad’ and that’s how it is. He was a really, really, really strong Bundesliga goalkeeper.
“That means a lot. Germany is a goalkeeper country – we have no issue with goalkeepers. I would say at the moment that the best goalkeeper in the world plays at Bayern Munich, and he’s German. We always have good ones, maybe not the best in the world, but always good ones. That’s the kind of mentality we have, we like this job. Kids like to wear the gloves.
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“It’s a sign if at this age you are already a goalkeeper in the Bundesliga. I saw his way, from a very, very bad start at Mainz when nobody really wanted him, to an outstanding goalkeeper. That’s what I was interested in. I spoke to him, then took him, that’s what we got – he’s a really good goalkeeper.”
Liverpool will be relying on Karius’ quality, not only to deliver for the club on the pitch but also to provide competition for Simon Mignolet who has thrived in recent weeks. The Belgian knows that Karius is snapping at his heels and it has bolstered his performances.
“The thing we want to have is two really, really strong goalkeepers and I think that’s what we’ve got. OK, he [Karius] had an advantage in the pre-season, but he couldn’t use it because of the injury.
“Simon [Mignolet] came exactly in this moment back from the national team and did a brilliant job. I don’t want to make a big battle of these two goalkeepers, why should I?
“Goalkeepers need to feel secure. You cannot play your whole life as a goalkeeper without conceding goals… but you need a manager who will say ‘you can stay’ and increase their confidence. That’s the same with all players. It’s not about saying ‘today him, and today him’, it’s about watching the players.
“The pressure on them is big enough – I don’t have to make any more. They have to do their best and if, at the end, I have a feeling for something then I will change or not.
“But it’s not because we paid money for Loris and didn’t pay money last year for Simon and that makes the decision.
“It’s about what I see in training and what I see in training is two very, very good goalkeepers and another very good goalkeeper [Danny Ward] who we gave on loan to Huddersfield. So the business is done, hopefully, and we don’t have to talk about this position. Now the boys have to perform.”
Fans are extremely excited to see the former Mainz goalkeeper start for Liverpool as Mignolet’s dodgy record in goal points toward an imminent mistake. In all fairness, the Belgian has been immense in the opening weeks of the season.
Whether or not Karius starting tonight will just be a way to ease the German back into regular football or if he is going to replace Mignolet will be clear at a later stage. Derby will be a good game for him to make his first appearance as the quality of the opposition isn’t too high but gives him a good chance to assess where he’s at fitness-wise.
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