Liverpool’s goalkeeper situation was so bad going into this window that there was a fair argument to be made to sack all three of keepers on the books in May.
The club has been there before. In 2001, two keepers were brought in to oust Westerveld after one horror show too many. In 2005, Rafa dumped Dudek for Pepe despite his Istanbul heroics.
Alisson Becker’s signing for £65 million was a dramatic statement by the club this summer. Klopp and his team are no longer willing to mess about with second rate, barely top flight options in one case.
Brazil’s number one is an almighty upgrade on what we had at the club, but there is still an issue to be settled between the sticks.
The role of the deputy keeper is not one which is likely to keep most fans up at night. It is though a position which could be costly if Loria Karius is allowed to stay on in the role.
The young German is in a bad place and looks a flight risk even in friendly games. The fact he was dropped for the recent friendly with Manchester United was quite telling to be honest.
He is unlikely to fair much better in the cup games, if indeed he is still at the club.
Keeping Simon Mingolet on is not a point worthy of discussion. So that leaves a decision to be made for Klopp, with a lot at stake for this coming campaign.
There is also another option still available. News from the Etihad today indicates that Joe Hart may be available for as little as £5 million, possibly less.
Before the onslaught and rotten vegetable throwing begins, it is worth noting that Hart is still a reasonably gifted top flight keeper.
Yes his stock has fallen, especially after poor form at West Ham last season, but just two years ago he was City’s and England’s number one. Has his decline been somewhat exaggerated by the crazy hike in standards at Gaurdiola’s champions?
If he were to come for non-stupid wages, he may well be able to come in to provide reasonable cover to Alisson for a season or two.
There is an argument to suggest we’d be swapping one error prone keeper for another, but arguably, Hart resembles a much better option right now, than the mentally ruined Karius.
At £5 million he could provide reasonable cover while Karius is allowed to recover on loan for a season.
If Hart can spend some time away from the high expectations and relentless criticism which have brought down his career, then he may well be able to rediscover some form. There will be an eye on the cups next season. If Klopp carries on with his policy of rotating keepers in the knockout cup games, then Karius could may well cost us once more in our quest for honours.
If it was a straight swap between the two, Hart would be the sensible choice. He also has big game experience and prove to be a good pro for the dressing room.
Ultimately, he will likely want first team football, but he’s still only young for a keeper. Two years at Anfield could galvanize him once more and provide a platform to be number one elsewhere.
His best days are behind him for sure, but a cut price move with an understanding in place between the player and the club, could suit both parties.