Loris Karius: The remarkable story of Newcastle United’s Carabao Cup final hopeful
Nick Pope’s red card against Liverpool means the German could make his competitive Newcastle debut at Wembley Stadium in the Carabao Cup final - almost five years after his last appearance for an English club. That game is probably what Karius is most remembered for following two high-profile mistakes in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in 2018, but there is so much more to his career than that game.
Here, we take a look at Karius’ career to date and what has been said about his goalkeeping style:
How Loris Karius burst onto the scene
Aged just 19, Karius became the youngest ever Bundesliga goalkeeper when he made his debut for Mainz. Handed this start by Thomas Tuchel, Karius would go on to make 96 appearances in all competitions for the German side, keeping 32 clean sheets.
After impressing at his former club, Jurgen Klopp would move for Karius in summer 2016, describing him as a ‘very good goalkeeper’ upon his arrival to Merseyside.
Karius’ time at Liverpool
Karius came to Anfield as competition for Simon Mignolet, with the hope that the German would eventually dislodge his Belgian counterpart to become No.1. However, Karius broke his hand during his first pre-season - an injury he would never really recover from during his time at the club.
Klopp dropped Karius ahead of a win over Middlesbrough in December 2016 but reiterated that the German was still in his plans, describing Karius as being in ‘a bad moment’ at that time. Karius played 16 times in his first season at Anfield before playing 19 league games in 2017/18, however, he did play in every match of Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final in Kyiv, keeping six clean-sheets in the process.
Karius started the final against Real Madrid, but made two big errors that allowed Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale to score. This would be the last time he made a competitive appearance for the Reds before being moved to Turkish side Besiktas.
Life after Liverpool
Karius moved to Turkey on a two-year loan deal with an obligation for Besiktas to purchase him for £7.5million - should certain performance criteria be met.
However, Karius struggled whilst in Turkey with Besiktas boss Senol Gunes, a former goalkeeper in his playing days, delivering a brutal assessment of his time at the club:
"Karius has gone a bit stagnant, something is wrong with his electricity, motivation, enthusiasm for the game. It has been like that since the beginning.
"He does not really feel a part of the team, it's something we haven't been able to work out and, of course, I am partly to blame for this.”
Karius moved to Union Berlin in 202/21 but failed to usurp Andreas Luthe, making just five appearances in all competitions.
Karius’ time at Newcastle United and Wembley dreams
As mentioned, the German hasn’t made a competitive appearance for the club since joining in September, featuring only in their Diriyah Season Cup win over Al-Hilal in December. Speaking about his goalkeeping options, Eddie Howe said: “Behind the scenes, these lads train every day. They play games behind closed doors, and I’ve got no doubt they’re both in a great physical condition to play the game.”