Sunday, August 19, 2018

Is Loris Karius the answer to Liverpool goalkeeping problems?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 7 Feb 2018

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Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius has recently stated that he is hoping to be the Reds number one long-term. The Germany international arrived in the summer of 2016 from one of Jurgen Klopp’s former clubs Mainz.

However, Klopp has rotated Karius with Belgian international Simon Mignolet for the last season and a half. However, Liverpool boss Klopp has now stated that his compatriot is number one and Karius has now played four straight games in the Premier League.

Talking about the future, Karius told Sky Sports: “I just want to present myself well and then I’ll have the chance to play at this club for the next season as well. That’s the challenge facing me personally,”

“I also want to help this team achieve as much as we can. As well as the top four, we still have the Champions League. We want to go forward in that and why not win it?”

Unconvincing start for the goalkeeper

Karius arrived at Liverpool from Mainz with a small price tag, but a big reputation as one of the merging young goalkeepers in the Bundesliga. Klopp rated him very highly too, telling people to ignore his relatively small transfer fee and judge him on his ability.

Unfortunately, the 24-year-old has looked very nervy and unconvincing at times. Even in the last few games, Karis has received criticism for his performances.

Despite saving a Harry Kane penalty in the Reds recent 2-2 draw with Spurs, he was criticised for the punch that led to Victor Wanyama’s goal. The German also received criticism for Leroy Sane’s equaliser in the Reds 4-3 victory over Manchester City.

There are still major question marks over whether the former Mainz man can be first-choice goalkeeper for the Reds in the long-term, mainly from the clubs fans.

Not helped by a poor defence

Liverpool’s defensive problems are well documented. The Reds seems unable to find a solution to the number of goals they concede. Just when Jurgen Klopp looks to have it right, the defence implodes.

In top teams, the defence has confidence in the goalkeeper and vice-versa. In the last few seasons that has not happened, as the Reds have not had a settled backline and the goalkeeping situation has been a bit cloudy.

Maybe Karius looking unconvincing is partly down to a lack of confidence in the men in front of him. However, maybe Karius is just an inexperienced goalkeeper, who is still developing. At 24, the German is still young for a goalkeeper.

He may one day be a very reliable goalkeeper for Liverpool. There is also the possibility that he is deemed not good enough and replaced in the next few seasons. Only time will tell on that one.

Liverpool needs Karius to improve

The reality at Liverpool is that Karius is playing because Jurgen Klopp believes that he is better than Simon Mignolet. However, really neither is a top goalkeeper and there is not much difference between the pair.

If Mignolet was good enough and was a top ‘keeper, Karius would not have replaced him as the Reds first-choice goalkeeper in the last month. It is like saying you are the better of a pair of average goalkeepers. I may be wrong, but I suspect I am right.

Goalkeepers will always make mistakes, as they are human after all. However, the top ones keep those mistakes to a minimum and that is why they are considered top goalkeepers.

In the past, goalkeeping greats like Peter Schmeichel, Neville Southall and more recently Gigi Buffon rarely made mistakes in their prime. Karius has arguably made two mistakes in his last four top-flight appearances.

Liverpool’s place in the Premier League’s top-four is by no means assured this season. The Reds are currently 1/5 to make the Champions League spots this season. The likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal are also hoping to claim a top-four spot.

Liverpool needs Loris Karius to improve and develop very quickly, as the Reds cannot afford for their goalkeeper to cost them points in the coming months, as their defence already costs them enough points.

In the future, Loris Karius may become a top goalkeeper. At the moment, though, the German is still very much a work in progress.

Is Loris Karius the answer to Liverpool goalkeeping problems?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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