Summer signing, Loris Karius, made his long-awaited debut for Liverpool in the EFL Cup third round match at Derby County and the goalkeeper did not disappoint.
The 23-year-old German under 21 international, joined from Mainz in the summer but a hand injury sustained during pre-season, has seen a slow introduction to competitive action in the first team. However, that all changed on Tuesday night, as Jurgen Klopp gave Karius his first start for Liverpool, in a competitive game.
In truth, Karius did not have a great deal of work to do, in a match which Liverpool won comfortably but did show glimpses of why he is so highly rated by Klopp and those who know German football. Perhaps the standout moment and the one which will have Simon Mignolet worried, was when Karius came sliding out of goal, to make a perfectly timed challenge on the edge of the penalty, as Darren Bent moved in on goal.
Ragnar Klavan, who scored his first goal for Liverpool during the game, commented on how the defensive line could be higher up the pitch, with Karius in goal. His high starting position and presence allowed Liverpool to defend further up the field and because the German is so good with the ball at his feet, there was no need for Liverpool’s defenders to worry about seeing him in possession, inside or outside the penalty area.
The performance has led to Karius being labelled as Liverpool’s ‘sweeper-keeper’ and comparisons with Manuel Neuer are sure to emerge if he continues to play for Liverpool in the same manner.
There is clearly a long way to go before Karius can be mentioned in the same breath as the Germany captain but Mignolet will not have slept well on Tuesday night, as his place is now seriously under threat and it will be interesting to see who is selected to play in goal at the weekend.
Watch Loris Karius Vs Derby County In Action Below.