Jay Percy discusses the resurgence in form from Loris Karius and weighs up what his future at Liverpool Football Club looks like.
It’s fair to say that Loris Karius was the victim of a large amount of criticism by Liverpool fans during the first few months of his Liverpool career, however, since his run as the first choice goalkeeper there is no denying that his form has certainly improved.
Whether Karius is of good enough quality to steer us to glory remains uncertain, but the German international has recently got a new mojo and has convinced many Reds that he is in fact good enough.
Liverpool have been successful in the UEFA Champions League so far and a large part of that could be down to the influence of Loris Karius. He currently has the most clean sheets in the competition with 6 from 10 games. He leads Marc-Andre ter Stegen and the goalkeeper of our semi-final opponents Roma (Alisson).
Although it could be argued that Liverpool have had an ‘easy’ run to the penultimate stage of the competition, Karius has certainly stepped up to the mark when needed. Clean sheets against Premier League Champions Manchester City and current Portuguese League leaders Porto prove that Loris Karius can keep up and even surpass the best goalkeepers across Europe.
Making 15 saves in 10 games in this year’s competition with many of them being important once again proves that Karius is able to play a big part in Liverpool’s success this year.
From January on, Loris Karius became the number one at Liverpool and it is clear to see that his confidence has grown since Jurgen Klopp reinstated him into the first XI, however, he still recognises he has improvements to make.
Last month he said: “Of course I’m confident. We’re playing well and getting good results, so there’s no reason not to be confident.”
Even recently he (along with Virgil Van Dijk) have begun to command the back line which is something I believe all goalkeepers should do.
He continued: “But you can’t rest on that. You have to show it week in, week out. I want to develop more, get better every week and have good games for the club. Hopefully, it’s only the beginning.”
This season, Liverpool have kept a total of 15 clean sheets in the Premier League alone, with Karius keeping 11 of them. Some of these include the Merseyside derby and teams in the bottom half vital for our chase for the Champions League spots inside the top 4.
Loris Karius, at the start of his Liverpool career, was slated for making too many errors leading to goals being conceded. However, since his run in the first team, Karius has yet to make ‘big’ errors costing Liverpool points in the important part of the domestic campaign during the run-in.
Actually, Karius has vastly improved the number of aerial saves he is making. For example, his acrobatic save to prevent Yannick Bolasie from scoring what would have been a terrific curler from outside the area.
Due to the criticism Karius still receives, he will not be praised as much as he probably should be for the save, which arguably saved Liverpool from dropping a further point. The German international made some important saves in the away leg of the quarter-final tie at the Etihad whilst Manchester City were 1-0 up pressing for 2-0. If Karius had not made these saves, in particular, the complexion of the games could have been completely different.
Despite reports that Liverpool may be looking for another goalkeeper in the summer transfer window, Loris Karius, for me along with many others has begun to prove why he deserves to be number one at Liverpool for the remainder of this season and maybe even going into next season.
If another ‘keeper is bought, it may result in the departure of Simon Mignolet due to him therefore being third in Jurgen Klopp’s pecking order.
In both the Premier League and Champions League respectively, Loris on average concedes under a goal a game (0.73), which surprisingly, is better than that of the PFA Goalkeeper of the Season, David de Gea. Karius’ distribution accuracy is also superior to that of De Gea.
In fact, the distribution length of the German international outranks both that of Hugo Lloris and Thibaut Courtois.
Many Reds argue that although Karius’ form has improved, it should not distract you from previous mistakes he has made.
Over the past few weeks, there have been rumours abound that Loris Karius will be signing a new contract extension at Anfield, which would see him at the club for the foreseeable future. This could imply that Klopp would like to keep his fellow German at the club, but whether this confirms his place in the starting eleven is unclear.
That said, Liverpool have previously had links with Alisson, the Brazilian, currently at Roma. With many Reds pushing for the move, it could see Karius dropping to the bench and Mignolet going abroad elsewhere.
Whether this form will continue is unknown, but based on current performances and results, there is no reason to think not so.