Loris Karius hasn’t been at all bad since Jürgen Klopp ended the goalkeeper carousel and handed his compatriot the Liverpool No 1. shirt. In fact, he’s been pretty good. Yeah sure, he let in that silly goal against Manchester City and maybe his positioning could’ve been a bit better on Michail Antonio’s goal at the weekend against West Ham, but by and large the 24-year-old shot stopper has also had some pretty solid performances since Virgil Van Dijk’s installation on the back line.
See, that was pretty cool.
But also, take a look here behind Door #2 at the Man Your Man Could Smell Like™ aka Roma goalkeeping phenom, Alisson Becker, who, according credible sources prefers a summer move to Liverpool over the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
While talk in the British papers around the “Messi of Keepers” and his potential transfer to Anfield has been sparse in recent hours, news has instead been coming out of Brazil. And not just any news: major outlet, UOL Esporte claims to have heard directly from Alisson’s camp that Liverpool is his “first choice” this summer.
Liverpool’s interest in the keeper has thus far appeared to be genuine: you see, first it was on, then it wasn’t, then it was on again, then it was off again and, last we heard, it was kinda just—something.
WELL GUESS WHAT. IT’S BACK ON AGAIN, SUNSHINE.
Discussions with Brazil’s No. 1 have supposedly also taken place with Real Madrid and PSG but Alisson has informed UOL that “talks are more advanced with the English club,” the article goes on to claim. As before, £62m is still projected to be the asking price for a Roma club eager to make up for their Mohamed Salah-shaped fleecing of yesteryear.
One can only speculate as to why neither the bright lights of Madrid nor the open spigots of oil money in Paris appeal to the world’s most in-demand goalkeeper. However it is easy to imagine that with the project at Liverpool on the up, young exciting stars in the likes of Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah producing joyous football, serious title challenges both home and abroad in the offing and the stability of a guaranteed four more years of a man manager like Klopp at the helm would be more than tempting to the average bear.
By contrast, the poisonous locker rooms, albatrosses of aging, but still-powerful stars and unstable coaching situations that currently trouble the other two clubs in the running could also conceivably be off-putting. But again, pure speculation.
We’ve gone from trying to sign James McCarthy and Clint Dempsey to Jorginho , Alisson and Christian Pulisic— . (@DWLFC94) February 24, 2018
What a difference a manager can make pic.twitter.com/XwAV4gONdr
While some within the Liverpool fanbase might want to give Karius a chance to prove that the gloves are safe on his hands, in reality, the hard truth of football—as in life—is that when once-in-a-lifetime opportunities come along, you really do have to go all in.
Liverpool could’ve surely given a flawed, but solid manager in Brendan Rodgers a bit longer to work things out, and of course, the likes of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip might well have developed into a formidable pairing with enough reps on the training ground. Maybe FSG could've settled for a Frank de Boer or a Shkodran Mustafi; gone bargain bin shopping for a Jose Mourinho or a Victor Lindelof.
But that’s not what you do when generational talent shows up on your doorstep. Exhibit A: Jürgen Norbet Klopp and Exhibit B: Virgil Van Dijk (that’s actually it. I guess “van” is a middle name out there in the Netherlands).
Sure, Karius will probably develop into a good keeper, possibly even a great one.
But you have to admit, this doesn’t look too shabby either: