The 26-year-old German had joined the Istanbul-based club on a two-year loan deal in August 2018 (as per BBC) but, according to Takvim [via The Mirror], they have not been convinced by his performances.
Karius’ two mistakes in Liverpool’s 2018 Champions League final prompted Jurgen Klopp to make Alisson the then-most expensive goalkeeper of all time, with the Reds spending £66.9m on the Brazilian, as reported by The Guardian.
The difference in quality between the two quickly became stark. Alisson conceded only 34 goals in 51 games in all competitions last season (0.67 per game), keeping 27 clean sheets (52.9% of games). [via TransferMarkt]
The trouble with the German wasn’t so much his concession rate, though, but rather the worrying habit for making basic errors. His Champions League final nightmare was the epitome of this, but the Kiev horror show was not in isolation.
In one week during his first season at Liverpool, he fumbled a tame shot into the path of Nathan Ake for Bournemouth’s winning goal in a 4-3 defeat and failed to keep out an accurate yet hardly unstoppable free kick from West Ham’s Dimitri Payet in a 2-2 draw.
He got away with iffy moments in the run to the 2018 Champions League final, punching the ball off James Milner in the lead-up to a Gabriel Jesus goal that was contentiously disallowed for offside (as per The Mirror) and letting an Aleksandar Kolarov shot go through his hands before hitting the bar against Roma (as per BBC).
Further errors in pre-season games against Tranmere and Borussia Dortmund a few months later saw Klopp’s patience with Karius run out, and the 26-year-old has not lost his knack for horrendous mistakes.
A few weeks ago, he had another howler in Besiktas’ Europa League defeat to Slovan Bratislava, racing off the line but misjudging the flight of the ball to gift Andraz Sporar the opening goal, as per The Guardian.
In the meantime, Alisson has been nominated for the Ballon D’Or, while summer arrival Adrian deputised ably for the Brazilian when he was ruled out for two months with a calf injury, helping Liverpool to eight successive Premier League wins and producing the penalty save which won the UEFA Super Cup for the Reds.
Klopp also has Caoimhin Kelleher, the young Irishman who kept a clean sheet on his senior debut against MK Dons in the Carabao Cup last month, along with Andy Lonergan, who came to the club on a short-term deal in August.
Whereas Karius only had Simon Mignolet, Danny Ward and Adam Bogdan as competition in his previous spell at the club, the German would now be going back to join a queue which already has Adrian, Kelleher and Lonergan behind Alisson in the pecking order.
That Besiktas want to end his loan early does not portray the 26-year-old in a very positive light, and with competition for the goalkeeping berth having intensified, his future at Liverpool as well as Besiktas could be bleak.
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