Jurgen Klopp admits he “would be the biggest idiot in world football” if Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius wasn’t any good.
Karius has thrived away from the limelight at Anfield after a rocky first season in which he lost his starting place to Simon Mignolet.
The German has responded in emphatic fashion in his second campaign however, becoming the club’s first choice at the turn of the year and impressing with his performances.
He kept his fifth clean sheet in ten Premier League games, and eighth in 18 in all competitions, in the 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday.
One particular save saw him claw out Mo Diame’s strike bound for the top corner, keeping Liverpool in front before Sadio Mane doubled their lead.
Klopp was eager to praise his keeper after the game.
“Look, if he was not a good goalkeeper I would be the biggest idiot in world football if I line him up. Maybe a few people think I am, but he is an outstandingly skilled goalkeeper,” he said.
“The start was not very good and in our life people make their assessment immediately and say the start was bad so there’s nothing.
“He needed time and needed the situation, he needed the training with John [Achterberg, goalkeeper coach] and now he is playing. Thank God, he is playing well. That’s the situation.
Jürgen Klopp on Loris Karius' save: "Very, very important. Newcastle would have said perfect moment for them to have scored it, it would have been the opposite for us… It was like scoring. He's an outstandingly skilled goalkeeper"
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“There is no goalkeeper without any mistakes in the world. For goalkeepers, the timing is very important.
“The best thing is that you don’t make a mistake in the first 50 games; then people think you are the best and you can be responsible for three goals in a row but people still think ‘but he is world-class’.
“He has had a few good games – that’s good for us. Let’s carry on.”