Liverpool stopper can seize chance to claim ‘vacant’ No.1 jersey

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For many Liverpool enthusiasts the position of goalkeeper has represented a bugbear that easily rivals the lack of a world-class centre-forward Arsenal fans have lamented in recent times.

While another summer transfer window passed without the Gunners managing to remedy that particular situation, the Reds were left to rejoice as manager Jurgen Klopp finally seemed to address a notorious blind spot.

Loris Karius was signed from Klopp’s old stomping ground of Mainz, bringing with him a very promising reputation as the full package, despite being in his goalkeeping infancy still at 23.

After three seasons of flawed No.1 Simon Mignolet going unchallenged for the Liverpool gloves by a succession of sub-standard backups such as Brad Jones and Adam Bogdan, the arrival of the Germany U21 keeper was understandably hailed on Merseyside.

As a shot stopper Mignolet is up there with the best, but his reflexes cannot compensate for unresolved issues dealing with high balls, while his suspect footwork noticeably infuriated Klopp as recently as the Chelsea win.

Had Karius not suffered a fractured hand late in pre-season after putting in some very impressive showings, the expectation was that the new man would have begun 2016/17 as Liverpool’s first-choice custodian.

Now the £4.7m purchase will start the EFL Cup third-round game against Derby and Klopp has hinted that a competent audition in his competitive bow will put his compatriot in a strong position to begin the next Premier League assignment.

“There is no No1 at this moment, there is no decision, it is just about performing and showing how good you are”, said the Liverpool boss.

Karius and the Reds defence are priced at 10/11 to keep Derby out at the Ipro Stadium which would be a massive boon to the heavily tattooed stopper’s chances of starting at home to Hull next time.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.