Loris Karius: How Klopp chat inspired me to make Liverpool move
Moments after agreeing his long-term deal to join the Reds, Loris Karius sat down with Liverpoolfc.com at Melwood to discuss the move from FSV Mainz 05 to Anfield.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper became the second summer signing made by Jürgen Klopp on Tuesday afternoon following a successfully completed medical at the club’s training complex.
And Karius immediately explained why an inspiring chat with the boss left him in no doubt that a move to Liverpool was the right one to make.
The German U21 international, who will take the No.1 jersey, also spoke of his excitement at the prospect of playing in front of Liverpool supporters having watched his television in awe at the sights and sounds they created at Anfield en route to the Europa League final this year.
If you’re an LFCTV GO subscriber you can watch our interview with Karius in full now by clicking play on the embedded video below. You can also tune in to it via the club’s official television channel, LFCTV. Click here for scheduling details. Want details on how to sign up for either service? Visit this link.
Alternatively, read on for a full transcript...
First of all, welcome to Liverpool Football Club. What does it feel like to be officially a Liverpool player?
Thank you. It’s a very good feeling and it’s an honour to play for a club like this. They have a special history and the fans are amazing here, so I look forward to playing at Anfield.
Tell us about the move, when did you first hear of Liverpool’s interest?
At the end of the season, but obviously I was focused on playing for my club and finishing the season well. We finalised everything after the last game, but of course I was really happy when I heard about it. Now it’s moved really fast.
Who was the first person you told [about the move]?
I talked to my parents all of the time, of course, so they were the first ones to know. That’s how it was.
What was their reaction?
They were happy for me. They support me and so they said whatever I want to do, they’ll support me and give me advice – but they were really happy about my decision.
How much do you know about Liverpool Football Club?
A lot from watching them on TV. The history, everybody who plays football knows. Anfield is a special atmosphere, so [I know] a lot of stuff. I still remember the Champions League final against Milan. There a lot of things in my head when I think of this club.
I’m sure you must have seen Liverpool’s run in the Europa League this season and some of the amazing nights at Anfield. What kind of impression did that leave on you?
Just that the fans are 100 per cent behind the team and they support them even if they’re 3-1 down and there’s not long to go, so they can still turn around the game. That’s what you need – strong fans behind you. That’s definitely what they have here. There are no excuses for the players, they know the fans are the 12th man.
We have to talk about the manager, Jürgen Klopp. How much of a key factor was he in you making the decision to join Liverpool?
Of course he was a factor – a big factor. I spoke to him and I had a good feeling afterwards because he told me what he wants to do with the club and with the players. It was a good talk with him and after that I was convinced this was the right decision. He’s a big coach.
What did he say to you about this football club?
He told me he knew Liverpool was a big club, but he actually realised how big it was when he came here. He didn’t realise until then, and even though he knew it was a big club, still when he came [here] he was surprised at how much bigger it is with all the fans supporting it and the special [feeling] this club has. He was really excited telling me all the stories.
How excited are you to be working with him here?
Of course, I am very excited. I know him a bit from playing against him in Germany. As a young player like me, he’s the right coach to do the next steps [in my career], to develop well and bring my game on. I’m sure he will help me, but it’s also on me.
How much do you think your time at Manchester City will help you here and help you settle in?
I know the area and I can speak English from that time, so I understand everything and so I think I can talk to my teammates in defence straight away and give them the right instructions. It will help me, of course.
It’s ideal for you, I guess, that the deal has been done early on so you’ll get a full pre-season with your teammates and manager…
Yes, I wanted to have the situation clear as soon as possible. It helps me, as you said, I get to start with the team and I can work with them the whole pre-season. It’s the first time for the coach as well to have the full pre-season [at Liverpool] so it will be good work and I think he can develop the team a lot in this period.
You must feel you know more than enough about English football from that time at Manchester City, so it’s maybe an easier settling in period for you than maybe another foreign player…
Maybe. I think I know exactly what to expect. If it’s a big factor, I don’t know, but I feel really comfortable making this step otherwise I wouldn’t have made it. I am 100 per cent sure this is the right thing, so I don’t have any worries about settling in or whatever. I’m sure that will be fine.
Was a move back to England always in your plan?
Of course it’s a great league to play in, but the Bundesliga is also very good. So I didn’t just say I wanted to go back to England, I said it had to be the right club where I am 100 per cent sure about my next step, that is the best for me. I just wanted the perfect package and I think that’s what I’ve got here.
Tell us about you as a goalkeeper – what are your strengths?
I think I’m a really confident goalkeeper. I like to play offensively, helping the defence out and playing with my feet, clearing situations early. If I’m far off my line and can clear a situation before it even comes to the goal, I’m confident doing that. I can block balls and I am a good shot-stopper. I try to be really offensive and help my team out a lot.
What about the areas you can improve on or the manager and teammates here can help you develop?
At 22, there’s nothing you’re perfect at. I want to develop in everything. If it’s my weak foot or crosses, which will be even harder in the Premier League because it’s tougher. So I want to improve on that. But I don’t feel like I’m not confident with anything in my game, so I just want to improve on everything.
You’ll be working with Simon Mignolet, who is 28 now and has a great deal of experience. How much are you looking forward to learning from him?
You can learn from every goalkeeper and every goalkeeping coach, because everyone brings new stuff. I’m looking forward to working with the whole goalkeeping team. It’s a new experience.
Are there goalkeepers that you particularly study?
Of course I try to learn from the best, so I look at every good goalkeeper and what they are doing well. But I don’t try to make my game just how they are playing, I go my own way. But of course you look at stuff and see how he is doing this better there or there. But there’s nothing I try to copy 100 per cent, I do my own thing.
You were first-choice at your previous club. Is that something you want to achieve here?
Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t make the move, if I thought I was just going to sit on the bench. I want to play and I feel like I will be able to do that if I do well in training and pre-season and the pre-season games. I’m confident. I’ve played almost 100 league games in Germany, so I’m young but I’m experienced. I’m not afraid of anything.
What are your goals and ambitions here?
I want to be in goal and play for Liverpool every week. And then win a trophy with the club, that’s what everyone wants. I want to do my part and help.