Player Review: Loris Karius – Shaky start to life in England

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Loris Karius of Liverpool gives his defenders instructions during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Liverpool at Liberty Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Swansea, Wales.
All rights reserved by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe

Callum Molyneaux examines the season that Loris Karius has had since his transfer from Germany last summer.

Loris Karius joined Liverpool last summer from Mainz for just £4.7 million. Klopp identified him as a rival to Simon Mignolet and to give competition to be the first choice goalkeeper. Most fans thought that Karius would become the number one keeper, replacing Mignolet.

At the start of the campaign, Simon Mignolet was the first choice goalkeeper due to an injury to Karius. He made his long-awaited debut in the EFL Cup against Derby County, where he kept a clean sheet.

After his Premier League debut, he played the next nine league games, keeping three clean sheets, with one coming against Manchester United.

However, Karius started to come under some criticism, especially from Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville. The German ‘keeper made a mistake in the 90th minute against Bournemouth to allow Nathan Ake to score a last minute winner in a 4-3 victory for Bournemouth.

After the game, both Neville and Carragher criticised Karius, saying he needs to improve and needs to be commanding. Karius accepted the comments made by Carragher, but not from Neville. He responded to Neville’s criticism, criticising Neville’s time in management. Klopp was forced to comment on the situation and to defend his goalkeeper.

After the criticism he received, a week later Karius played in a 2-2 draw against West Ham at Anfield. That was to be his last Premier League game of the Premier League season. In the match, Karius was very nervy and was hesitant for West Ham’s second goal. After the game, he received further criticism from Carragher, questioning why Karius responded to Neville’s criticism a week prior.

In the next match, Mignolet started and kept a clean sheet in a victory over Middlesbrough, and remained the number one goalkeeper for the rest of the season. Karius started in the remaining cup games, against Plymouth and Wolves. Karius’ season in terms of competitive football ended in January when Liverpool lost 2-1 at home to Wolves. The former Mainz goalie has been on the bench ever since.

What next for Karius?

Despite an unsuccessful first season at Anfield for Karius, I believe there is still a future for him. At just 23 years of age, the future is still very bright for him, and I believe next season he will provide stronger competition to Simon Mignolet.

Klopp does have faith in Loris Karius, and he believes that he can be a top goalkeeper in the future. For example, David De Gea made plenty of mistakes when he first moved to England and took a few seasons to really gain confidence. Now he is one of the best keepers in the world. I’m not saying Karius will become one of the best, but I am confident that he will eventually become Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper.

I believe that Karius relies mostly on his confidence. At first, he seemed very confident in his play, but when he started to receive criticism from pundits, his confidence dropped and his form certainly did too. I think as Karius matures more as a player, then he will perform more consistently, and will be able to deal with criticism better than he has done.

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