Liverpool’s Karius joins Beşiktaş to overcome Champions League torment
Goalkeeper Loris Karius on Aug. 25 evening arrived in Istanbul to join Beşiktaş on loan from Liverpool, seeking redemption in Turkish football after his nightmare performance helped cost the English side the Champions League final.
Liverpool announced earlier that Karius, whose first-team place had been taken by Brazilian Alisson Becker, was joining Spor Toto Super League contender Beşiktaş on a two-year loan deal.
The player was then flown by private jet from England to Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport, where he arrived late in the evening.
“Loris Karius has arrived in Istanbul,” the Turkish club wrote on its official Twitter account, in its first confirmation of the club’s biggest summer signing.
The German, 25, who joined Liverpool in May 2016, is expected to undergo a medical followed by a signing ceremony early next week.
“The 25-year-old is set to spend the remainder of 2018/19 and the whole of 2019/20 with the Super League outfit, who have started the new campaign with back-to-back league victories,” Liverpool said in a statement on their website.
“Everybody at LFC wishes Loris the best of luck during his loan spell.”
Media reports have indicated that Karius’ loan deal could be converted into a long-term move but this has yet to be confirmed by the club.
Addressing the potential move on Aug. 24, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said Karius had not been “sacked,” adding: “It is only change. That’s football, no problem with that.”
Klopp added on Aug. 25 he had already said goodbye to his fellow German.
“He was really looking forward to it and that’s good for him. I really think Loris is a fantastic goalkeeper and he’s a good age for a ‘keeper,” said Klopp.
Karius wept on the pitch after his errors in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat against Real and the German still looked traumatized as he struggled again during pre-season.
But the player and his manager later explained his errors in the Kiev final by saying he had been concussed.
Despite the fumbles Karius made in the final, Beşiktaş’s famously hard-core fan base have given his arrival a warm welcome on social media, excitedly tracking his flight as it made its way across Europe.
Hundreds of fans then showed up at the airport to give him a traditionally raucous reception in Turkey as he stepped into the arrivals hall.
Commentators in Turkey have said that the increasingly competitive Super League could be ideal for the keeper to rebuild his confidence, with Beşiktaş one of the best-run sides in the country and in the Europa League qualifying rounds.
Beşiktaş, which has won the league trophy twice in a row until Galatasaray ended its run last season, has been looking for a top-class goalkeeper after the departure of the much-admired Spanish gloveman Fabri to Fulham.
Klopp had moved quickly to replace Karius with Brazil’s World Cup keeper Alisson from Roma in a $83 million deal.
The 25-year-old has already impressed with clean sheets in his first three matches, bringing a new dimension to Liverpool’s game with his distribution, as well as his shot-stopping skills.