According to Jürgen Klopp, Loris Karius has won the job to be Liverpool’s new number one ‘keeper. There will be no experimenting, no hesitation, and no second thoughts. Barring injury or a disastrous run of form, Karius will be given the rest of the season to prove he’s the man to backstop Liverpool for the foreseeable future.
That’s bad news for Simon Mignolet. The one silver lining, perhaps, is that with Karius now entirely certain of being the starter in the league, it means that the Liverpool manager is willing to give the Belgian back-up any domestic cup matches in order to keep him sharp just in case he’s needed at some point down the road.
“His chance is at 100%,” said Klopp when asked about whether Mignolet might be in line for a start on Tuesday evening. “If nothing happens in training he will play, it’s 100%. We had a few talks; he is a real professional. It’s what I call a luxury problem—it’s no problem, but you have to make a decision and I made the decision.
“Of course he was not happy about this but he is a good professional. We have two goalkeepers fit and in shape so that’s it. A few talks and everything is good from my side. He is maybe not so happy still but nobody can see this and in training he is working hard, improving, doing all that he has to do so it’s all okay.”
Mignolet had looked solid when a hand injury kept Karius sidelined to start the season, but having been at the club since 2013, the Belgian had had his chances—and most believed Liverpool had to begin to look elsewhere for a long term solution in goal. That meant the arrival of Karius from FSV Mainz over the summer.
While Karius has had his shaky moments since joining, given he was brought in to be the goalkeeper of the future, unless he represented a significant downgrade from Mignolet in the present he was always going to end up number one this year. Klopp may have some sympathy for Mignolet, but he makes no apologies for that.
“In this moment, we have a number one,” Klopp added. “I cannot leave them in doubt. There was a short moment with two games we gave Loris to see a bit more, but after the last international break we made this decision. We made a decision and Loris in this moment is number one and Simon number two.”