Back in January, Jürgen Klopp replaced Simon Mignolet with Loris Karius stating that he would now be the number one goalkeeper at the club. A few weeks later, it was reported that Liverpool where interested in signing Roma goalkeeper Allisson with the Reds monitoring his situation at the Italian side and where expecting to have a bid of £80 million ready for the summer.
The Reds have also been linked with a £40 million deal for Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland in recent weeks. But should the Reds be on the hunt for a new number one? The decision won’t be made until the end of the season and will also depend on the futures of Simon Mignolet and Danny Ward who are out of favour at the minute.
Last season Karius only featured in a handful of games, most of them coming in cup competitions but he seemed to redeem himself and impress the manager enough for him to put his faith in the German and make him the number one. He was bought in the summer of 2016 for £4.7 million from Klopp’s former side Mainz and still at the young age of 24, has time to improve upon his abilities.
Last season he was lacking confidence and this was a major factor in him being second choice to Mignolet. Starting a few games during pre-season, it looks as if he would be in goal for the opening game of the season but a broken hand in a friendly against Chelsea in the summer halted that start.
Since Mignolet joined the club back in 2013, he hasn’t had the best Liverpool career and has been a ‘whipping boy’ if you like for several fans during his time at Anfield. Making a great start on his LFC debut by saving a penalty from Stoke City striker Jonathan Walters on the opening day of the season back in 2013 to give Liverpool a 1-0 win, the Reds would later go on to challenge for the title in his first season but just fell short to Manchester City.
As soon as Pepe Reina left, Liverpool goalkeeping abilities fell dramatically and over the last few seasons and have not had two or three good goalkeepers who can compete against each other. When Mignolet arrived he had Brad Jones to compete with, the next season Jones was sold and Adam Bogdan was brought in from Bolton, as well as Danny Ward making his breakthrough into the first team. However, both of these goalkeepers never really tested Mignolet except for the time he was dropped for Brad Jones but was reinstated a few games later due to Jones picking up an injury and remained number one for the rest of the season, but when Loris Karius was bought in the summer of 2016 Liverpool fans now wondered if they had found their ideal replacement.
A shaky start to his Liverpool career and a lack of confidence due to an injury and several bad performances, Mignolet retained his place as Liverpool number one and Karius was left sitting on the bench. However, since being reinstated for the second half of the 2017/18 season the German has put in some brilliant performances and pulled off some incredible saves to earn the Reds some vital points. In 12 Premier League games this season, Karius has kept a total of 6 clean sheets with Simon Mignolet having 9 in 17.
When Liverpool were linked with Roma goalkeeper Alisson I thought that maybe it was a bit harsh considering some of the performances that Karius had been putting in of late but having a new goalkeeper to challenge for the number one spot at Anfield might be a good thing for all parties. It is clear that Mignolet is out of favour and is unlikely to make his return this season unless an injury occurs, so does that mean he may look to move on in the summer? more than likely yes.
The signing of a new goalkeeper like Alisson might be the best thing for Loris Karius as it will finally give him some good competition to compete with, sorry Simon, and will also give Liverpool two or three solid goalkeepers to choose from next season and with the likes of Naby Keita and a few potential other signings likely to happen in the summer then Liverpool squad depth will improve massively, even though we have a good group of players now, and give Jürgen Klopp a lot to think about.
Article by Lauren Black
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