With their search for a new goalkeeper proving to be unsuccessful so far, it is growing even more likely by the day that Lorius Karius will be Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper going into the 2018-19 season.
Speculation that manager Jurgen Klopp was searching for a replacement was only even more heated by the ‘keeper’s calamitous Champions League Final display against Real Madrid, in which he fumbled two of Real’s three goals as they secured a 3-1 win and claimed their third successive crown.
The Reds’ main reported targets this summer have been AS Roma’s Alisson Becker and Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid, but both players are proving to be unattainable which is causing growing concerns amongst Liverpool supporters.
Liverpool are not prepared to match Roma’s €100m valuation of Brazilian no. 1 Alisson, while Oblak’s release clause is of the same value and there are no clear-cut suggestions that the Slovenian is eager to move away from the Wanda Metropolitano.
KLOPP’S FAITH IN KARIUS
And now due to the club’s struggles, Klopp is preparing to enter the new campaign with the German as his man in between the sticks.
Klopp has waiting for targets he’s keen to recruit before, Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk being the most recent example of that.
Speaking to LFCTV about Karius’ final performance, Klopp said: “I don’t know exactly what people think or made of the situation. The only thing I can say is he had a concussion in the game.
“He was influenced by that knock, that is 100 per cent. What the rest of the world is making of it, I don’t care. It’s really not important what the people say. We do not use it as an excuse.”
Liverpool confirmed around a month ago that Karius had been to Massachusetts General Hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion while on holiday in the US, following a collision with Real centre-back Sergio Ramos whilst the score was 0-0 in Kiev.
Klopp also provided more details on how the concussion was detected.
KARIUS CONCUSSED IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
He said: “Whoever had a concussion knows there is not one way how it feels, there are different ways. He didn’t feel it obviously. He had a knock on his head and he felt that but he didn’t know he had a concussion – that’s how concussions are.
“I got all the pictures from different perspectives, saw it and thought: ‘how can we all think that the boy who didn’t show any weakness in that game until then made these big mistakes in a very important game and nobody thinks it’s because of the knock he got?’ .
“How can we think that? That was, for me, the explanation and I thought: ‘OK, come on, we need to check that’. Five days after the final, Loris had 26 of 30 markers for a concussion still.
Klopp was also keen to stress that he is not seeking an excuse for the poor performance, adding: “We don’t use it as an excuse; we use it as an explanation. For me, it is 100 per cent the explanation and that’s all.”
Karius started in the first of nine pre-season fixtures Liverpool have lined up against Chester on Saturday, keeping a clean sheet throughout the first half, before their Premier League campaign begins against West Ham United on Sunday, August 12.
Jurgen Klopp fielded two separate elevens at the Deva Stadium with Danny Ward the other goalkeeper who featured in the second half as both Fabinho and Naby Keita made their debuts in the 7-0 victory.
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