Loris Karius’ start to life at Liverpool was far from ideal. The goalkeeper picked up an injury during pre-season, missed the start of the campaign, and struggled to get into a rhythm when given the chance to start ahead of Simon Mignolet. It didn’t take long before Mignolet got the job back.
Ever since, Karius has been waiting for a chance to retake it, and though he’s been given European duties this season, it’s still difficult to say exactly where things stand for him when it comes to his future at the club—or, really, with what the goalkeeping situation in general will look like at this time next year.
"We didn't play well for a couple of games, I didn't do so well, and this stuff happened,” he told ESPNFC, reflecting on his brief spell as Jürgen Klopp’s first choice ‘keeper. “I learned a few things that I can take with me, although it wasn't positive. I took it with me and it's more experience.
"This year is a new experience again, it's the Champions League, so I'm collecting the new experience. "Hopefully I'm also developing because I'm still young, [even if] I don't think I was a bad keeper when I got here."
Karius is 24 now, still young for a goalkeeper, and he arrived at Liverpool as the goalkeeper who had rated out second best in the Bundesliga the year before. On paper, he still looks like a good option to potentially lock down the starting job at the club for years to come.
In practice, though, some of the early concerns—his ability to deal with the pressure and physicality in the penalty are in the English game and to deal with crosses—remain question marks. All he can do to answer them is to win. First on Wednesday, and then in the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
"Maybe it's a bit more pressure,” he added, “but I think in football you always have the pressure. Maybe it's a final for Spartak and for us. We can win something; we can finish top of the group. We just need to focus on the positive things. There's always pressure, but nothing to be too nervous about.”