Time to welcome back Loris Karius with open arms?

German goalkeeper Loris Karius is largely remembered as the man who single-handedly lost Liverpool the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid with two catastrophic errors. 

Immediately following his performance, the club swiftly brought in Brazilian shot-stopper Alisson Becker with Karius shortly after departing to Turkish outfit Beşiktaş on a two-year loan deal despite having reportedly expressed his willingness to stay on Merseyside. 

The thinking around Anfield at the time was that Karius would get some time away from the spotlight to get over his highly scrutinised performance, but the German’s time in Turkey has been far from easy with the goalkeeper being involved in several disputes with the club regarding unpaid wages.  

Last month it was confirmed that Karius would finally be putting an end to his tumultuous two-year loan spell in Turkey and returning to Anfield following the cancellation of his loan contract.

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After this announcement, Karius has now hit the headlines again following comments he made in the press regarding his attitude and expectations towards his future with Liverpool. 

Despite how several outlets have chosen to relay this information — some have portrayed it as a dig at current ‘keepers Alisson and Adrián — in his interview with Transfermarkt Karius essentially said that he has time left on his contract at Liverpool and, given the club’s position as one of the best in world football, he wasn’t in a hurry to leave Anfield.

Moreover, Karius also acknowledged his role as the second-choice goalkeeper at the club behind Alisson and expressed a desire to improve alongside his Brazilian counterpart and challenge him for game time.

“It makes no sense to say I’m leaving Liverpool for a worse club and I’m only the No.2 there. I’m not in a pressured situation at all, I don’t have to change — as the second goalkeeper in England you know that you get chances.

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I am currently at the best club in the world, who are competing for titles, and I have the highest level around me every day in training. I am fully aware that I am in a good position to be at Liverpool. I have great conditions there.

There aren’t the words of someone still wallowing in shame following the final in Kiev. To me it sounds like a man who, despite everything that has unfolded during his time at Beşiktaş, has managed to grow and put it past him to now return and hopefully kick-start his career.

I for one commend him on it.

My reasoning for writing this piece is not to inform you of what you already know regarding Karius’s situation. It’s because I fundamentally disagree with and want to condemn the actions of a minority of our fanbase that continue to ridicule a man who, as his comments show, is more than ready to return and fight for the badge. 

Liverpool is different to any other football club in the world. There is a saying associated with the club and with its fans that says for us it means more. This is because us fans consider our players as family. We love and adore them, and are supposed to do that through highs and lows. The fact is, right now, despite his best efforts to make it right, Karius is not receiving the support that he should as a Liverpool player. 

I know its not the entire fanbase — I’m well aware that it is a minority. However, I feel as if those who are genuinely rooting for Karius and want to see him succeed should do everything within our power to drown out the negativity and get behind our goalkeeper. 

In no shape or form do I see Karius usurping Alisson. The Brazilian is brilliant and deserves his title as one of the best, if not the best, goalkeepers in world football. But I think Karius is more than good enough to be an effective No.2 for however long he remains with the club. 

I truly believe the German is a quality goalkeeper, but I am aware that his mistakes in Kiev undoubtedly overshadow the ability that he showed throughout the rest of his breakthrough 2017/18 campaign.

Liverpool is now writing a completely different chapter to the one in 2017/18. Hell, it’s not even the same book — over the last two years we’ve won the Champions League and are set to be crowned runaway Premier League champions, with a decent platform in place for many more years of success.

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With this in mind, I’m done hurting and thinking about that night in Kiev. The comments made to Transfermarkt indicate that Karius is also ready for the next stage of his career so I suggest that the negative vocal section of the fanbase follows suit and gets behind our lad.

We all say ‘if Klopp wants him I want him’ whenever we think of potential new signings. Well, the manager wanted him to stay back then, and he wants it back now. So logic dictates that surely, we should continue to believe?

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Matthew Ramirez

Podcast regular and match reporter. Gibraltarian of many opinions and defender of Jordan Henderson.

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