On-Loan German Ace Set To Rejoin Liverpool Next Summer: What Should Be Klopp’s Play Here?

Loris Karius of Liverpool during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Huddersfield Town and Liverpool at the Galpharm Stadium on July 20, 2016 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by The Athletic‘s James Pearce (subscription required), Loris Karius is expected to return to Liverpool at the end of this campaign when his two-year loan spell at Besiktas comes to an end. The same source has mentioned that the Turkish club has no intention of activating their option to sign the ex-Bundesliga custodian for £7.25m this summer.

Sources close to the player has revealed that the German goalie wants to move on in search of a new challenge with the Reds prepared to entertain offers from other clubs in the offseason (via The Athletic).

Karius’ Gradual Decline In Recent Years

Karius has failed to rekindle his career in the Turkish Super Lig so far. He is struggling to find confidence after conceding 44 goals in 29 matches while securing just seven clean sheets this term in all competitions. His poor run of form has been one of the many reasons why Besiktas has fallen to the seventh spot in the league table.

It seems like Karius has still not recovered from his meltdown in the 2018 UEFA Champions League final when he made several errors that led to Real Madrid beating Liverpool by a 3-1 scoreline. Therefore, Klopp has no reason to keep him at Anfield beyond this summer as the German keeper is nowhere near the level of Alisson Becker or even Adrian based on his recent performances in the Turkish top-flight.

The former Mainz shot-stopper could benefit from a change of scenery as it will give him another chance to make a fresh start away from the limelight. With his Liverpool contract set to expire in the summer of 2021, there is no doubt that Klopp would look to move him on cut-price fee this summer rather than risk losing him for free next year.

Loris Karius of Liverpool in action during the EFL Cup Third Round match between Derby County and Liverpool at iPro Stadium on September 20, 2016, in Derby, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

What Can The German Keeper Offer On The Pitch?

On his day, Karius can be a decent keeper who can pull off some impressive stops at the back. However, those days have been few and far between for the German goalie at Anfield which explains why Klopp had no choice but to ship him out on loan for two years. As mentioned earlier, the 26-year-old has been quite leaky in front of his goal this season and is struggling to keep clean sheets in the process. He is also an average ball-distributor after completing 65.6% of his passes in the Super Lig (stats via whoscored).

What Should Be Klopp’s Play Here?

Unless Karius goes through a dramatic turn in fortunes, it is difficult to see any way back for him at Merseyside. The German talent is not good enough to play for an elite club like Liverpool, so Klopp will be better of parting ways with him this summer.

At 26, he still has a lot of time to improve his overall game and find some consistency in terms of his performances in between the sticks. Maybe, a switch back to his homeland could be ideal for Karius at this stage of his playing career. On the other hand, the Reds do not need to strengthen their goal-keeping options as Adrian and Caoimhín Kelleher have been more than capable deputies to Alisson at Anfield this season.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.