Liverpool: Loris Karius had to leave Anfield
There’s nothing particularly nice about seeing Loris Karius exit Liverpool, given the personal hell he has gone through of late. But it is necessary.
Loris Karius looks set to join Besiktas on a two-year loan before the Turkish transfer cut-off date, effectively bringing an end to his Reds career.
While some have been left a little frustrated that Karius has been moved on rather than Simon Mignolet — who will somehow still be playing for the Reds in 2029 as a 41-year-old player-coach — it is a transfer that makes sense for all parties.
Prior to the Champions League final in May, Karius was actually enjoying his best run of form in a Liverpool shirt, cutting out the errors and looking a more confident figure.
Although there was desperation from some to shower him with praise with some unconvincing moments still thrown in, Karius more than justified his inclusion against Real Madrid in Kiev.
The 90 minutes that took place in the Olympic Stadium were among the most harrowing for a player in a European Cup final, though, with two howlers from Karius essentially gifting Madrid their third title in a row.
Did concussion play a part? We will never know for absolute certain. In the aftermath of the game, some have been guilty of trying to use it as a definite defence of Karius and others to dismiss a serious injury.
What we do know is that the errors did irreparable damage to Karius at least as far as his Liverpool future was concerned.
A naturally self-confident figure, it was easy to be kidded by the social media video of him training in Los Angeles during pre-season. However, early mistakes during the summer break were proof that he was still struggling with confidence.
This was nowhere more clear than when the former Mainz stopper dropped a routine free-kick against Tranmere Rovers or fumbled a shot in a defeat to Borussia Dortmund, both of which led to goals.
There were shaky clearances, too, and, by the time the summer drew to a close, it was crystal clear that Jurgen Klopp simply could not continue with Karius as first choice.
The manager has since come out and said the Champions League final was an irrelevance in terms of Karius’ future and that Alisson was a major target regardless of the outcome in Kiev.
There had been murmurs prior to his recent quotes that Klopp was willing to show faith in his compatriot’s first choice but it always felt wide of the mark.
You have to wonder whether it would have been Mignolet who was moved on instead, though, had his teammate not endured such a painful night. It appears, then, that Klopp no longer trusts Karius and he will take it on the chin as one of those transfers that simply didn’t work out.
With so few of his incomings proving to be failures, Klopp’s success rate in the transfer marker at Liverpool remains incredibly high.
This imminent move to Besiktas is ideal for Karius for many reasons.
There have been genuine concerns for his mental health, both in terms of the concussion he suffered and the impact of such a high-profile nightmare performance, and he needs to get away from the spotlight.
With all due respect to Turkey’s Super Lig, it will allow Karius to do just that: the relatively quieter sphere of Turkish football giving him space to avoid the public gaze, certainly in comparison to the Premier League.
A fresh challenge was paramount, allowing him to move on from this current dark period and every Liverpool supporter should be wishing him all the best.
Yes, he cost the Reds dearly in their biggest match for over a decade. But he has suffered hugely in the three months since and is need of a happier period in his life.
It wasn’t meant to be for him at Liverpool but he is still young enough to forge a strong career and eventually reach his potential.
Sadly, the damage has been done at Anfield, even if he matures into a world-class goalkeeper one day.
Karius has reached a point of no return on Merseyside but his time in Turkey could be the start of his career resurrection.
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