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Liverpool will benefit from the fight for No.1 status: Jurgen Klopp

League Cup

By Carl Markham

Published 20/09/2016

Big chance: Loris Karius will get his first Liverpool start against Derby
Big chance: Loris Karius will get his first Liverpool start against Derby

Goalkeeper Loris Karius begins his quest to depose Simon Mignolet with a debut against Derby tonight, but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he does not have a No.1 in mind.

The Germany international, a £4.7m summer signing from Mainz, looked set to start the season in the team until an untimely injury in the latter stages of the club's pre-season tour to the United States sidelined him.

Karius had an operation to have wires inserted in his right hand after breaking a bone, but, having been on the bench for the last two matches, he will get his first competitive appearance in the third round of the EFL Cup.

The 23-year-old has not hidden his ambition to displace Mignolet, who has failed to fully convince in three seasons at Anfield, by asking for - and receiving - the No.1 jersey on his arrival.

Klopp, however, is adamant he has not already singled out his compatriot to become the long-term first choice and stressed current selection will only be based on performances.

"I know where your question should lead but the thing we wanted was to have two really strong goalkeepers and I think that is what we have," said the Reds boss after confirming Karius would start against the Sky Bet Championship side.

Asked whether Mignolet would remain first choice for Saturday's Premier League visit of Hull, he added: "If I say 'Yes' what will this mean for Loris? If I say 'No' what will it mean for Simon?

"Maybe the question makes sense but the answer doesn't. There is no No.1 so there is no decision to make, it is all about performing, improvement and showing how much you can help.

"You need a manager who increases confidence. The pressure on the players is big enough so I don't have to make any more.

"I don't want to make a big battle of these two goalkeepers. They need to feel secure. In the end if I have a feeling for something then I will change, but it is not about because we paid money for Loris and we didn't pay money last year for Simon.

"It is all about what I see in training and what I see in training is two very good goalkeepers. Now the boys have to perform."

Nevertheless, Klopp does rate German goalkeepers and there will be pressure on Mignolet.

"He was a really strong Bundesliga goalkeeper. Germany is a goalkeeper country so we have no issues with goalkeepers," he said. "I would say at the moment the best goalkeeper (Manuel Neuer) in the world plays at Bayern Munich.

"We've not always had the best in the world but we've always had good ones and it's a kind of mentality."

Belfast Telegraph

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