Over the summer, a few papers tried to turn Joe Hart to Liverpool into a story. With Loris Karius having already arrived and Simon Mignolet still on the books, though, it was a rumour that never seemed likely to amount to anything. In the end, the Liverpool rumours quickly faded and Hart ended up at Torino on loan.
Former Liverpool midfielder and current Stoke City player Charlie Adam, though, is convinced the club made a mistake passing on the opportunity to bring in Hart. That even if Karius is manager Jürgen Klopp’s first choice goalkeeper, he isn’t the right man to backstop Liverpool to glory in the league this season.
“I don’t think they’ve had a top goalkeeper since [Pepe] Reina,” Adam told BBC Radio 5 when asked about his former club’s title credentials. “I don’t feel comfortable with Loris Karius. He’s still very young and he doesn’t impress me. I thought they’d have broke the bank to get Joe Hart to Anfield in the summer.”
Hart, who was never in Pep Guardiola’s plans at Manchester City, hasn’t had a perfect start at Torino, but so far he is stopping more shots that Karius—Hart’s 2.17 saves per goal conceded is an elite goalkeeping return, while Karius’ 1.33 saves per goal is barely better than the 1.27 Simon Mignolet managed last season.
Yet it was always known and accepted amongst Liverpool’s management that there would be something of a settling in period required for Karius as he moved to a more physical league. He also had his adjustment period interrupted when he broke his hand late in pre-season and missed the start of the season.
Without Mignolet on the books, perhaps, there would have been a case for bringing in Hart and easing Karius in more slowly. Yet it’s clear the 23-year-old was Klopp’s pick as his goalkeeper for the future and, with Liverpool top of the league in November, his efforts to learn while on the job haven’t exactly hurt results.