LONDON: Loris Karius is expected to take over Simon Mignolet as Liverpool’s No1 goalkeeper after signing from Mainz for £4.7m – and not only because he has been handed the No1 shirt which was unassigned this past season.
The Belgian signed a five-year contract this past season and enjoyed the faith of manager Jurgen Klopp. However it was widely expected that Liverpool would sign a new goalkeeper once the transfer market conditions were right.
Karius, though 22, is no novice where England and its football are concerned. He spent two years at Manchester City between the ages of 16 and 18 before returning to Germany with Mainz in 2011.
Mignolet, despite his World Cup and European Championship status, has never convinced in the Premier League. He has been guilty of too many important mistakes. Errors this past season in draws with West Bromwich, Sunderland, Norwith and Newcastle cost Liverpool eight points which can be assessed as the difference between Champions League football and a place out of Europe altogether.
Karius is Klopp’s third signing since taking over in October, having secured deals in January for Schalke centre-back Joel Matip and Red Star Belgrade midfielder Marko Grujic to join this summer.
Klopp said: “I am delighted we have signed Loris, he has had a fantastic season with Mainz and has developed into a very good goalkeeper. I am really pleased that we were able to move so quickly to get him and that Loris has shown such a desire to come to Liverpool. I know he will add to the quality we have in this position.”
Karius will be only the first of several reinforcements for Liverpool’s defence with left-back Alberto Moreno’s future in doubt while Martin Skrtel is wanted by Besiktas.