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Karius needs to redesign, rebuild and reclaim

Making judgements and decisions based on pre-season friendlies never ends well.

Posted by Andy Thompson
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Fans of a certain vintage will remember the summer of 2002 when Bruno Cheyrou, a recent recruit from Lille, decimated Lazio in a pre-season friendly at Anfield. He looked like he would really live up to Gerard Houllier’s no pressure tagline of being “the new Zidane.”

Liverpool to win 1st 4 Premier League games is 4/1 with RedsBet.

Of course, he didn’t and he didn’t get anywhere near his pre-season performance in his ill-fated two seasons at the club. He wasn’t the best attacking player in the world then just like Loris Karius isn’t the worst goalkeeper in the world now. But it isn’t even August yet and I have seen enough from the German. He needs to leave the club, even if on loan, to clear his head.

The jitters are following Karius everywhere. After his horrendous error cost a goal at Tranmere, the German had a chance to stake his claim in the match with Borussia Dortmund and stand his ground after the arrival of Brazilian Alisson Becker for a world record goalkeeping transfer fee.

Alisson to keep a clean sheet against West Ham is 5/4.

Alisson Becker is ready to become Liverpool’s number one

Unfortunately, Karius did just the opposite. He was fortunate to not be punished early in the game when he came off his line to clear the ball, only to screw his hasty clearance straight to Maximillian Philipp. Thankfully the forward screwed his shot wide from 40 yards but it was an alarming sign of yet more panic.

This was compounded by a horrendous mistake for Dortmund’s injury time third. Karius was only able to weakly palm a tame shot from Christian Pulisic into the six yard box. The goalkeeper isn’t the first to push the ball back into play and he certainly won’t be the last, but I am looking at my keeper to push that away from danger, perhaps out for a corner. Instead, it was a tap in for Bruun Larsen and now not even the most ardent of fans can stick up for the goalkeeper.

I was all for him being given another chance but I’m afraid he needs to leave the club. He needs to go and rediscover himself at another club in another country. He’s not going to recover at Liverpool where the stigma of Kiev will hang over him.

Karius is patently not a bad goalkeeper but I don’t think he has the mental strength to sort his head out at Anfield. He has been badly affected by the mistakes against Real Madrid and the fallout from them will likely plague him for the rest of his career. The club has a duty to let him go and discover himself once more.

Alisson Becker to keep a clean sheet his first three league games is 10/1.

Unfortunately this would leave the club in a bit of a situation as well. We’ve long thought that Simon Mignolet would be leaving in pursuit of first team football and there’s nothing to suggest that won’t be the case. With Karius’ position borderline untenable, if he goes (and he needs to) then we will need to sign another goalkeeper. With Danny Ward sold to Leicester last week, we are suddenly relying on the talents of Kamil Grabara.

The Polish youth international is young in the tooth at 19 but has impressed when called upon at all levels and has featured a few times during the pre-season so far. But is he ready to be back up? Arguably not but he would be a good third choice to have.

Ultimately, the club have tried to back Karius and that’s commendable. Had they listened to some of our more rabid fans, the poor lad would have been rolled up in a carpet and abandoned on the outskirts of Kiev somewhere. But we are trying to rehabilitate someone who is, at this club at least, beyond help.

The right thing to do for Karius and ultimately his career right now is to let him go away and redesign, rebuild and reclaim. He is swimming upstream and the more he plays, the more his fragile mental state is exposed.

Let the kid go and sort his head out – there’s a goalkeeper out there we can get on a short term deal. Since when have we ever cared about having high quality goalkeeping back up on the bench?

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