Loris Karius is set to make his first Liverpool start when the Reds take on Derby County in the third round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday, Jurgen Klopp confirmed during his pre-match press briefing on Monday (20 September).
The German goalkeeper joined the Merseyside club from Mainz in the summer and played regularly during Liverpool's pre-season games. He looked favourite to start the season as the Reds' number one goalkeeper, but a broken hand ruled him out for the first five weeks of the campaign. Simon Mignolet has played all of Liverpool's games thus far this campaign, but Karius will be keen to push the Belgian stopper and nail down a regular place between the sticks.
Klopp is confident he has signed a top goalkeeper to challenge Mignolet, and admitted that he has been following the 23-year-old's career since he broke into the first-team at Mainz. Karius has spent time in England in the past when he was part of the youth setup at Manchester City, before he returned to his homeland.
"Yes, if nothing happens," Klopp said when asked if Karius will make his first competitive appearance for Liverpool against Derby, as quoted on the club's official site.
"In the moment when we signed him, you can imagine we thought 'he's not too bad' and that's how it is. He was a really, really, really strong Bundesliga goalkeeper.
"It's a sign if at this age you are already a goalkeeper in the Bundesliga. I saw his way, from a very, very bad start at Mainz when nobody really wanted him, to an outstanding goalkeeper. That's what I was interested in. I spoke to him, then took him, that's what we got - he's a really good goalkeeper," the German coach explained.
"The thing we want to have is two really, really strong goalkeepers and I think that's what we've got. OK, he [Karius] had an advantage in the pre-season, but he couldn't use it because of the injury."