Loris Karius was given his competitive debut for Liverpool against Derby County in mid-week, and has done enough for manager Jurgen Klopp to select him for the weekend’s clash with Hull City. Karius was mostly a spectator in the League Cup match as Liverpool dominated possession, but he did have to show precision in coming off his line to slide in on Darren Bent. The German goalkeeper, who arrived from Mainz in the summer for 4.7 million pounds, is now confirmed to replace Simon Mignolet and make his Premier League debut at Anfield.
Mignolet had made a bright start to the season, starting all five league games, but his place in the side came as a result of Karius not being available due to breaking his hand in pre-season. Mignolet has been Liverpool’s first choice goalkeeper since arriving from Sunderland three years ago, coming under much criticism and calls for an alternative.
This statistic compares both player’s 2015/16 campaign, showing just how busy Karius was in his season with Mainz. He made 52 more saves than Mignolet in the same amount of games, proving he was not given the same amount of protection from his defence as Mignolet was, yet made no crucial errors leading to goals conceded. That’s also 2.9 saves for every goal conceded, to Mignolet’s 1.67.
Although to be fair to the Belgian shot stopper, he holds an incredible penalty-saving record. In fact, his record of 5 out of 11 penalties saved for The Reds is the joint-best record in Premier League history. His 45% save ratio from the spot puts him in an elite class, with the likes of legendary goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, who saved 7 out of 19 for a 37% penalty-save ratio.
Yet for all the records and statistics, Liverpool fans will be happy to at least see him tested for his spot in the side. Since arriving at the club in 2013, Mignolet has competed with Brad Jones, Daniel Ward and Adam Bogdan for the number 1 spot. Needless to say, those names are not at the required level to legitimately threaten his starting spot, and their combined seven league starts across three seasons proves it.
For Karius, now is the chance to solidify his spot in the side and make a name for himself in the Premier League. Perhaps his biggest task is to deal with Liverpool’s ineptitude in dealing with crosses and set pieces, the latter being a big problem for them over the last few years. Liverpool have not had a top-quality keeper since the days of Pepe Reina, who was also a good shot-stopper but struggled to deal with aerial balls. A confident goalkeeper who can command his 18-yard area and anticipate crosses will be exactly what the Anfield faithful will be looking for.