Liverpool are preparing to start the season with 3 keepers, as Huddersfield’s attempt to get Danny Ward on loan for another season was blocked. Ward’s heroics in the playoff final saw Huddersfield promoted to the Premier League, and it was expected that he would return for a second season with the Terriers. However, their attempted loan move was blocked earlier this month and it has been confirmed that Ward will be a part of the 17/18 squad.
Despite this, Mignolet is expected to retain the first team spot, after impressing in the aftermath of Karius’ poor start to the season. Mignolet has been the subject of fan criticism since his arrival in 2013, but most fans agreed that his improvement last season justifies him remaining the Number 1.
Yet, is it possible that Klopp will give Karius a second chance at the beginning of this season? It’s understood how highly Klopp thought of the German before he moved to Liverpool, but his displays in a red shirt were, to put it bluntly, catastrophic. The pressure certainly got to Karius before, but he could be given a chance of redemption, especially given the busy schedule the squad will face with the addition of the Champions League.
Goalkeeping coach John Achterberg commented on the dilemma that Klopp has, saying:
My opinion is that in goalkeeping terms, things look pretty good for Liverpool. He [Simon Mignolet] got a lot of praise which was well deserved. He made some important saves in vital games towards the end of the season which earned points for the team. There were match-winning saves and he helped us get to that fourth place.
It seems that there will be no need for Klopp to delve into the transfer market for a keeper. Mignolet’s resurgence was key to the team’s success and the money could certainly be spent in better, much more necessary areas. Furthermore, Ward and Karius will more than likely be competing to start in the cup competitions, as having a “cup keeper” has become common practice amongst many clubs in the league.