Loris Karius could well be the goalkeeper for Liverpool Football Club next season.

It's not a situation that 99.9% of supporters will be expecting to see after the German’s costly errors in the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday night.
Joel Sanderson-Murray  |  30th May 2018

After the mistakes which led to Madrid’s first and third goal there wasn’t a soul in the world that could have argued the case for Karius to be lining up at Anfield next season, as the final drew to a close it really did feel like the end of the line for the 24-year-old.

That was it. A mistake too far. Two mistakes too far. He will never be good enough to represent a club looking to win domestic and European titles was the conclusion many supporters came to.

Is it as black and white as that? I’m not so sure.

As the tears strolled down his face as he went over to the Liverpool fans to offer a hand of apology, you would have to have a heart of stone not to feel complete sympathy for Liverpool’s no.1.

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This was a young man who had just made two high-profile mistakes in the biggest game of his career in front of millions watching in the stadium and on televisions worldwide. There was no hiding place. The weight of the world collapsing on his shoulders.

It’s impossible not to feel sorry for him and hope he can come back from this and make something of his career.

But should this be on Liverpool’s time? Has he had too many chances?

Liverpool are a club with aspirations of winning the Premier League and the European Cup. Doubts will persist over the goalkeeper no matter what now, after his performance in Kiev.

Karius could re-group over the summer and come back to start next season in fine form. He could play 10 good games at the beginning of the next campaign but as soon as he makes that first mistake the knives will be out.

His confidence could well be shattered, the fans may never trust him again, and there is a serious question over whether the players will ever trust him again.

Arguably, Karius could have a strong campaign over next season and what if Liverpool get to another Champions League final and the German lines up in goal in Madrid in 2019? Could he deal with that sort of pressure and scrutiny again?

You’ve seen with Simon Mignolet’s Anfield career how a lack of faith from the supporters in a goalkeeper can never truly turn around, no matter how many positive periods of performance they can go through.

The safe money is on Loris Karius never turning out for Liverpool again.

However, the same was said about Alberto Moreno after the Europa League final defeat to Sevilla in 2015.

The same was said, in some quarters, about Dejan Lovren after his performance against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley this season.

Both these players came back from the point of no-return to represent the club again and show miraculous improvement.

Moreno dealt with a season watching James Milner play in his position to claim his place back and started this last season in very promising fashion, only losing his starting berth to a marauding Andrew Robertson.

Lovren is still capable of headloss from time to time but has developed to a point where he was arguably Liverpool’s best player in a Champions League final. Can Lovren and Croatia beat Brazil at Anfield on Sunday? Croatia to win to nil is 7/1 with RedsBet.

These are two case studies that prove Klopp doesn’t always lock and bolt the door on players after horrific displays, and examples for Karius to look at and follow to come back from the abyss.

The former-Mainz goalkeeper played his part in a team that made it to the Champions League final, and the improvement in his performances was clear to see.

2018 has seen a goalkeeper that has become commanding in his penalty area, confidence in claiming crosses and capable of impressive saves.

His fingertip save to deny Mohammed Diame in the 2-0 win over Newcastle United earlier this season brought out a standing ovation. There were glimpses of the potential Karius has.

Has he shown enough potential? That’s for Klopp to decide.

Talk of a replacement has led to Roma goalkeeper Alisson, although The Guardian reported last night that Liverpool may be put off by a £79 million asking price, with Real Madrid also sniffing around.

Klopp has shown before he will wait for the right player before making his move in the transfer market, as proven with Virgil Van Dijk and Naby Keita.

So, say the manager decides it is too expensive to pursue Alisson during this transfer window, or Roma cease to give the club any encouragement, what then? All roads point to Karius in that circumstance.

Karius’ mistakes in Kiev were costly, it goes without saying, and the risk in him being Liverpool’s goalkeeper going forward has heightened ten-fold.

But it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Loris Karius is Liverpool Football Club’s number one goalkeeper next season.

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Follow Joel Sanderson-Murray on Twitter @joelsmurray
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