The young, German goalkeeper hasn’t exactly hit the heights either he, or we, were anticipating this season, but it can be a steadier climb up to Peak Mojo than we hope for sometimes. Loris Karius isn’t worried a bit about any rough edges in his play, though.
Liverpool’s new number one has had the full, public backing of Jürgen Klopp and the coaching staff since the last international break and it’s clear that Karius will be given time to acclimate to the team and to restore the preseason pomp with which he arrived at the club. In an exclusive interview with Melissa Reddy, the ex-Mainz stopper reveals a little about his post-surgery reintroduction to the squad—no word as yet if Hugo was also in attendance.
“When I came back from injury,” said Karius “we had to build something new because I hadn’t worked with them for long in California. So it was starting from scratch and learning things again.
Loris has been encouraged by Klopp along the way, the manager making sure Karius knows the level of belief the club have in his ability.
“He told me he’s happy with me,” Karius said of Klopp, “and the only thing he wants is for me to get my attitude back from before I got injured where I had this really, really high confidence.
“He told me that’s the only little thing missing, but he understands that after the injury I‘ve got to find my feet again. But it will come quickly through playing.
“I’ve realized there’s no need to stress and over time, people will understand who I am as a goalkeeper if I just play my natural game.”
Loris, who was the number one goalkeeper at Mainz 05 for three years and was considered one of the top keepers in the Bundesliga, admits that at Liverpool he’s still getting used to the ability to play out of the back with all the top-class players everywhere.
“With all the quality and talent we have in the team, we can deal with really tight spaces so I have to remember in my head that it’s possible now, when before it wasn’t.
“The more games I get, the more I understand each player and what it is they really want in each situation and how I can help them.
“At the start, you don’t really appreciate just how many different things you can do when there’s so much quality in the squad, but the more we try stuff together, the better we will all get.”
It’s not something we often think about when good players move up a level, the adjustment to having more options and to building the confidence to try the trickiest of those options. But, Jürgen Klopp seems to be an expert at sprinkling confidence around and Loris Karius is currently standing under a shower of it. Second half of the season, this kid could be a Stella with his groove back.