Football is a funny ole’ game, isn’t it?
One minute you’re considered a hero and saviour by your adoring fans, the next, you’re a scapegoat and a figure who is better off far away from the club than at it. That’s the story of Loris Karius, who at one point in time was considered the goal-keeping saviour at Liverpool.
Signed in the summer of 2016 from Mainz for a reported fee of £4.7 million, the German keeper took the number one shirt at the club with big dreams of being the main man between the sticks for Liverpool, and after overcoming a hand injury in the summer, Karius took to the pitch for the first time against Hull City in late September in a 5-1 win for the Reds.
However, three months later, the German was back on the bench after two poor performances against Bournemouth and West Ham, resulting in Simon Mignolet reclaiming the number one spot in the team for the rest of the season.
The 2017/18 season looked to be another year of playing second fiddle to Mignolet, but with Jurgen Klopp making Karius the team’s designated Champions League keeper, the German was given a chance to shine, and shine he did, keeping three clean sheets in the group stages as Liverpool progressed with ease.
Things were coming up Loris, but then the Champions League final happened, and everything changed forever for the German.
We all know the story now. Karius suffered a concussion after a Sergio Ramos elbow minutes before the keeper let in the first of two goalkeeping howlers in what was to be a 3-1 defeat for the Reds, with all fingers pointed to the keeper for the loss.
The game mentally broke Karius, and the aftermath didn’t make matters any better. The ‘keeper was subject to online death threats, and in pre-season the young shot-stopper looked shaky and traumatised, letting in howlers against Borussia Dortmund and Tranmere Rovers.
As Liverpool spent a club-record fee for Alisson from Roma, it was clear that the club were keen to move on from Madrid, and the German was sent out on loan to Besiktas for two years, and since then things have turned around for Karius.
The stopper has rediscovered his confidence, manning a Besiktas defence that came close to a Turkish Super Lig title but missed out by just four points come to the end of the season.
The 2018 Champions League final will always be a painful night for Liverpool fans, more so for Karius, but the custodian has shown incredible mental strength coming back from what looked to be a career-ending game and is now on the road back to the top in Turkey.
Still, whatever happens for Liverpool tomorrow night, they’ll be delighted this man is nowhere near the team.
Liverpool fans, will Karius still be the club’s number one if he wasn’t concussed? Let us know!
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