Loris Karius hasn’t had the career at Liverpool he might have expected after arriving from Mainz 05 in the summer of 2016. Fresh off being named the second best goalkeeper in the Bundesliga behind only the great Manuel Neuer, the confident young shot stopper came into an exciting Liverpool project carrying both his own lofty expectations and that of the Red supporters that he would bring badly-needed star quality between the sticks.
However a broken hand that forced the new recruit to miss the start of that maiden 2016-17 campaign has ended up being symptomatic of his nearly two seasons on Merseyside: one step forward, two steps back.
Looking inconsistent and short on self-belief at times, the 24-year-old has finally seen an extended run of games as the definitive No 1 since the start of 2018 by virtue of being the least bad option between himself and the consistently inconsistent Simon Mignolet.
Now, after experiencing his best run of form at the club, Karius has admitted that the battle that has seen him beat out internal and reportedly even external competition was quite the ordeal.
”I just worked hard in training and then the games I had, I tried my best because you can only look at yourself and try to perform well. It’s not easy for a goalkeeper to come in and out, but that was the situation and you have to take it as it is really.
”It is difficult to say what changed about yourself but I feel good, I’ve been playing quite well so I want to keep it up and do even better. I know I can improve on pretty much everything, I’m 24 now so there is a lot of space for improvement.
”But the life of a goalkeeper is that you always get criticized when you have a bad day so you just have to get used to it and of course, at a club like this, it was more than I was used to so maybe that was the biggest thing.”
The young shot stopper has a chance to continue his impressive run of seven clean sheets in the 11 matches he has started since being named starter in Saturday’s Premier League clash to Crystal Palace, with his side hoping to cement their spot in the hunt for Champions League places.
”The Premier League is gone I think, the gap is too big,” Karius continued. “Man City have had a great season and you have to accept that but we want to be in the top four for sure and ideally second place, that’s our aim. I think if we keep going like this, we can reach it.
”In the Champions League, there are eight games left and of course, you look to go to the final and possibly win the competition but first, there is Man City in the way.
”It is not going to be easy but for everyone watching, it is going to be an exciting game.”