Loris Karius has said he is out to prove he can be Liverpool’s long-term No 1 despite the likelihood of a new goalkeeper arriving at Anfield in the summer.
The 24-year-old was confirmed as Liverpool’s first-choice keeper against Manchester City last month when Jürgen Klopp again dropped Simon Mignolet. Klopp has described his goalkeeping options as “healthy” but is expected to strengthen in that position at the end of the season with the Belgium international unhappy at losing his place. Roma’s Alisson, a Brazil international, is expected to be a target for the Liverpool manager.
Karius believes criticism of himself and Mignolet has been exaggerated and would not have arisen at “smaller clubs”. But he admits this season represents his opportunity to repay Klopp’s faith and show he can retain possession of the jersey beyond this summer.
“You can’t go crazy about the speculation,” said the former Germany Under-21s player. “If you read the press then every week at Liverpool we would have five new signings in every position. When I look at the training, I think we do have good quality already with the keepers. I think we’ve been a bit unlucky at times.
“Often you don’t have much to do. Then if you don’t do something 100% right it weighs a lot heavier than for other goalies at smaller clubs who have several more saves to make in a game. That’s life at a big club like Liverpool and you have to deal with it. I just want to present myself well and then I’ll have the chance to play at this club for the next season as well.
“That’s the challenge facing me personally. I also want to help this team achieve as much as we can. As well as the top four, we still have the Champions League. We want to go forward in that and why not win it? There are lots of big aims for the rest of the season.”
Karius, signed for £4.7m from Mainz in 2016, has again been under scrutiny since his return to the side but produced an encouraging display in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham. The Liverpool keeper conceded and saved Spurs’ first penalty, from Harry Kane. “If I hadn’t come out it would have been an easy tap-in for Kane,” he explained of his dive at the striker’s feet. “He obviously wanted the pen because the ball was going in no man’s land. I pulled my arms away and I felt that he touched me a little bit above my shoulder.”
As for Victor Wanyama’s stunning equaliser from his punched clearance, Karius said: “We were unlucky. I don’t know whether Wanyama has ever done that before.”
Overall, however, Liverpool’s current No 1 believes he is improving with “game-by-game routine”. He added: “Maybe I could have done better against Man City. I didn’t see it as a massive mistake because he [Leroy Sané] hit it quite well. In other games I haven’t had too much to do. You can’t get frustrated as you know there will be games when the team needs you more and you have to be there.
“I wasn’t begging in the other games: ‘Please, please, I need a save.’ I knew it would come. I had more to do against Tottenham and I tried to help the team. I’ve been working well on the training pitch. My head is right. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from last season and I feel good.”