On the 24th of May 2016 Liverpool confirmed that they had reached an agreement with FC Mainz over the proposed transfer of Lorius Karius. The arrival of the 22-year-old was supposed to end an era of uncertainty which had been epitomised by the unconvincing performances of Simon Mignolet.
The official club announcement confirming the signing of Karius was greeted with sheer delight amongst the Reds faithful who had been urging the club to sign a new goalkeeper for quite some time, and they saw the Mainz stopper as a perfect solution to a nagging problem.
— Josh (@LFCJosh23) May 24, 2016
best goalkeeper in the world
— Liverpool GFN (@LiverpoolGFN) May 24, 2016
Great signing. Gonna be our number 1 for years
— Nick (@NabyRole) July 18, 2018
Very fantastic signing and deffo German number 1 lmao
— FabFerna (@ferna_fab) July 10, 2018
yesssss music to our ears.. 3 yrs we've suffered with keepers.. This is great news.
— Burnsey (@LFCBurnsey) May 24, 2016
— nicole (@nicwhitaker__) May 24, 2016
YESSS WHAT A SIGNING
— ” (@WelshyWoodburn) July 10, 2018
However, the tale of Karius’ career at Anfield did not quite run according to the script which supporters had written for him. The German stopper failed to solve Liverpool’s goalkeeping crisis, far from it.
Indeed, if anything, Karius’ arrival at Liverpool seemed to complicate the problem for Klopp as was left with the choice of two goalkeepers who were both equally unconvincing and mistake prone. But after chopping and changing between his two stoppers Klopp finally appeared to make a strong decision at the beginning of 2018.
That decision saw Karius become the club’s number one goalkeeper for the remainder of the season and, after months of speculation linking Liverpool with moves for various goalkeepers, he began to win the supporters over as he embarked on an impressive run of form towards the end of the campaign.
But just when it seemed Karius was on the verge of quashing Liverpool’s interest in other goalkeeping talents, he made two fatal blunders in the Champions League final which will haunt his memory for years to come.
It was clear from that moment that Liverpool’s number one would be replaced in the transfer window and Alisson Becker’s arrival all but confirmed his career on Merseyside was finished.
In hindsight, it’s easy to understand why the supporters were so excited by the prospect of Karius’ arrival considering he joined with a glowing reputation after impressing in the Bundesliga.
But it’s quite remarkable how quickly opinions can change in football and the supporters who tweeted with such enthusiasm in 2016 will be quite amazed to look back into the past and see how the mood shifted so dramatically.