After spending much of pre-season looking as if he would start the season as Liverpool's first-choice goalkeeper before he broke his hand, Loris Karius is set to make his competitive debut for Liverpool against Derby County in the EFL Cup.
Jürgen Klopp confirmed that Karius will play "if nothing happens" ahead of the trip to Derby. He wouldn't, however, confirm which goalkeeper he intended to play in the Premier League clash with Hull City on Saturday. Klopp described Karius as "an outstanding goalkeeper" from a nation that has proven to be "a goalkeeper country" over the years.
“Loris had an advantage in pre-season and he could not use it because of the injury. Simon came in this moment back from the national team and did a brilliant job," Klopp said. “I really don’t want to make a big battle of these two goalkeepers, why should I? Goalkeepers need to feel secure but you can’t play your whole life as a keeper without conceding goals.
“You will always feel a bit guilty, more or less. But you need a manager who will say you can still stay and feel confident. I can’t say ‘today, him and then today him’. The pressure on the players is big enough.
“I don’t have to make any more, they have to do their best and then when I have a feeling for something I will change or not. It is not because we paid money for Loris and did not pay money last year for Simon that I make the decision.
“It is all about what I see in training, and what I see is two very good goalkeepers and another very good goalkeeper for the future (Danny Ward) who we gave to Huddersfield. The business is done. We don’t need to talk about this position. Now the boys have to perform.”
The manager seems satisfied with his goalkeeping options, but it's still difficult to shake the feeling that Loris Karius is his number one with Simon Mignolet as backup. With Danny Ward impressing at Championship pacesetters Huddersfield under his good friend David Wagner, competition in the position could be quite healthy indeed.
What's most important right now is for Loris Karius to get some minutes. Although Mignolet has made a few good saves and been aggressive at times during a good start to the season, it is difficult to shake the feeling that a mistake is never far away. Hopefully Loris Karius' appearance against Derby can be the start of a more confident and composed period in Liverpool's goal.