By Alex Stevens
Loris Karius was told at training on Friday that he has won the battle to be Liverpool’s No1, according to a reliable journalist.
The Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce has reported that the £4.7million signing from Mainz will make his Premier League debut for the Reds in Saturday’s clash with Hull at Anfield.
It’s a crushing blow for Simon Mignolet, who had hoped to return to the starting line-up after sitting out Tuesday’s 3-0 League Cup triumph over Championship outfit Derby.
Pearce reports in the Echo that the keepers were informed about Jurgen Klopp’s decision at the club’s Melwood training headquarters on Friday.
Karius, 23, moved to Anfield in the summer and he was largely expected to replace Belgium international Mignolet as the club’s first choice goalkeeper.
The former Manchester City trainee had looked the part before he broke his hand playing in a friendly against Chelsea during the pre-season tour of America.
The young German shot-stopper was sidelined for six weeks and in his absence Mignolet performed well.
The Belgian, who has been the club’s first choice keeper since his £9million move from Sunderland three years ago, produced sound displays against Tottenham and Leicester and saved a penalty from Theo Walcott in the opening-day win over Arsenal.
There was some debate about who Klopp would select against Hull, but Pearce, who is renowned as a reliable source of Liverpool information, revealed on his personal Twitter account that the German manager will opt for Karius.
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) September 23, 2016
Karius made a solid debut for the Merseysiders on Tuesday as they swept Derby aside to secure safe passage to the last 16 of the League Cup.
Klopp kept his cards close to his chest on Thursday when he spoke about who would get the nod for the Premier League visit of Hull.
“Let’s go through a few different kinds of ways in which we could see it,” said Klopp, as quoted by the Mirror. “Do we say, ‘Okay, Loris had the game against Derby. Was it a real game for a keeper? Not really. So give him a home game’ for example.
“We could say, ‘There is an international break coming up, so give Loris a home game and Swansea away’ and then both have had the chance to show what they are.
“It’s not in doubt, it’s not a test.
“I accept again the circumstances over the keeper’s position. But in the end it’s 100% positive — Liverpool FC will have a very strong goalkeeper on Saturday between the posts.”
In other Liverpool team news, this is the expected starting XI against Hull on Saturday.