🔴EOTK Insider Opinion: Farewell to Loris Karius – one of the unluckiest players in Liverpool’s history 🙏
Many may remain wholly indifferent at the idea of Loris Karius' Liverpool career coming to an end but he has grounds to feel hard done to.
The 28-year-old's Anfield career will always boil down to the events in Kyiv, where he was undoubtedly at fault for two Real Madrid goals that aided their 2018 Champions League glory.
However, that was just one of 49 games he played under Jurgen Klopp. No doubt it was a bad one but the old adage of ‘when a 'keeper makes a mistake, it invariably leads to a goal’ must be used in this case too.
Signed for less than £5 million in 2016, the German arrived as a second-choice stopper and was aged just 22-years-old - younger than Caoimhin Kelleher is now.
His maiden season saw 16 appearances, which included four defeats and six clean sheets - across three different competitions. Suffering a broken hand in his first pre-season certainly didn't help him establish a place in the first-team either.
The second, and what proved to be the final, campaign for the 23-year-old again started as second-choice - with he and Simon Mignolet again fighting for a starting place in the team.
Signing Virgil van Dijk brought with it a change in the mindset of the manager, with our No.1 starting every Premier League and Champions League game for the rest of that season.
In those 24 matches, the Reds lost four times (five including a second-leg loss to Roma which saw us qualify for the final in Ukraine) and the man who finished the season aged 24 had kept 11 clean sheets in that run of games.
Many will point to the arrival of our No.4 as the reason for the upturn in statistics for the former Mainz man but it shouldn't be ignored that he saved a Harry Kane penalty, helped the Reds defeat a then unbeaten Manchester City in the league and a Champions League home and away victory against them too.
To quote the Daily Mirror about his final appearance (vs. Brighton) before the final against Real, the stopper received a rating of 8/10 and was described as: 'Really solid and dealt with limited threats comfortably' - seemingly not the words of a man making his penultimate appearance for the club.
This isn't to say he didn't make mistakes, games against Bournemouth and West Ham cost him a place in the starting line-up during his first season. There's also moments like when he passed a goal kick out for a corner, against Sunderland which can't be ignored.
The point of this article isn't to say that Alisson Becker is worse than Loris Karius, nor that the German shouldn't have been dropped for what happened in Kyiv.
The point is to say that a 24-year-old started a Champions League final, off the back of a great run of performances, received a heavy blow from Sergio Ramos (we won't go into any concussion claims) and made two mistakes.
That ended his career at Anfield and now six years after signing for the club he leaves and will search for pastures new, without being given the chance for redemption.
Caoimhin Kelleher is a brilliant young stopper but his career on Merseyside has always been viewed through the prism of being a young player - something Karius was never afforded.
Even Adrian, who is now firmly third-choice for the Reds, has made mistakes and his role in our 2020 elimination from the Champions League to Atletico Madrid can be seen as costing us a European Cup.
Just because it came earlier in the competition doesn't mean it isn't true and yet his role in the squad remained in tact.
Karius' Ukrainian mistakes benefitted Liverpool because we signed one of the world's best goalkeepers in his place but for that to be the final time he ever played seems harsh, or at least gives him grounds to feel hard done to.
The best way to finish this is with a statistic that may help change the perception of the German to some critics - he managed 22 clean sheets in 49 games for the Reds which the fourth highest clean sheet percentage of any stopper in our history, to have played 49 times or more.
Only Ray Clemence, Alisson Becker and Pepe Reina (by 0.02%) can beat those numbers and that shouldn't be ignored.
This isn't an attack on Jurgen Klopp or Alisson Becker, just the reasons as to why Loris Karius can lay claim to being one of the unluckiest players in Liverpool's history.
Best of luck in the future Loris and fingers crossed you find a club that can help springboard you back on course with the career that you were so close to achieving with Liverpool.
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