With 10 clean sheets kept and 14 goals conceded in 19 appearances, Loris Karius has been doing pretty well for himself since overtaking Simon Mignolet for the number one spot at Liverpool. Perhaps buttressed by the impressive Virgil van Dijk — and subsequent improvement of the team’s defensive solidity — the German stopper has looked increasingly comfortable between the Anfield sticks, supplementing his aggression off his line with steadily improving aerial command.
Only a very select few Reds can take their spot in the XI for granted, however, and despite his development, the 24-year old has had to deal with speculation surrounding incoming threats to his position. Roma’s Alisson in particular has been consistently linked with a Merseyside move since the Reds showed interest in January, but the Brazilian’s outrageous price tag and Karius’ growth seem to have put those plans to bed.
Now, a new challenger has appeared, in the shape of AC Milan’s goalkeeping wonderkid Gianluigi Donnarumma. The 6’5” stopper has been starting for the Rossoneri since he was 16, and is expected to become the long-term replacement for all-time great — and fellow rumoured Liverpool target — Gianluigi Buffon in the Italian international team.
It would be eminently reasonable to argue that the 19-year old is the greatest goalkeeping talent to appear since David De Gea, and for all the improvements Loris Karius has shown, acquiring Donnarumma would be considered a massive coup for the Reds. The £54m price tag is unlikely to deter the money men at Merseyside if the player has been identified as a difference maker, and should Liverpool be able to overcome Real Madrid next Saturday, a Champions League success may just be the incentive require to make the player pick a career at Anfield ahead of one in Paris, where PSG have also been linked.
The reports — originating in the Corriere dello Sport — could of course be pure fabrication, but should Jürgen Klopp’s interest be genuine, Reds fans can allow themselves to get excited at the prospect of signing one of the world’s premier talents at his position.