Loris Karius' two-year temporary move to Turkey
Who can forget the Champions League final last season? Lorus Karius drew the brunt of criticism for Liverpool's defeat, spared the full treatment by those with an eye for Sergio Ramos's villainy. Ever since, the German keeper's tried to move on. He's done so with a two-year loan from Liverpool to Turkish giants Besiktas JK. What does the future hold for the 25-year old?
Karius signed with Liverpool in 2016 for just under £5 million from German club Mainz '05, his future bright at the time. The 6'2" shot-stopper was willing to play in the Premier League. Ready was another story. Under Jurgen Klopp, he made only 29 appearances.
During Champions League matches Karius faced questions over a few incidents. In the semi-final against AS Roma, he couldn't make a clean save on Aleksandar Kolarov's long-range shot. Instead, he deflected the ball off the crossbar. It was enough to save a goal but the criticism flooded social media.
Another parried shot by the Liverpool goalkeeper ended up in Edin Dzeko's path for a goal.
The Reds survived to face Real Madrid in the final. Liverpool lost the game 3-1. When Karius rolled the ball across Karim Benzema's path an even match turned into a rout. The French striker's reflexes proved far better than the German keeper's. He stuck out a leg, knocking the ball into goal. A textbook howler.
Gareth Bale's bicycle kick wasn't Karius' fault. So sweet a goal is best forgotten, especially on a day like Karius'. There was nothing he could do. Bale's second from long range was another matter. The former German U21 international mishandled the save in the same manner he did Kolarov's. This time, the ball spilt into the Liverpool net.
Few remembered Bale did the same to two more goalkeepers at Euro16. Neither was concussed as Karius was later revealed to be. A sly elbow from Sergio Ramos went unnoticed by the referee. Karius received death threats leading to fear for his safety and that of his family.
Even with Jurgen Klopp's backing, he carried on with more calamities. A video emerged depicting the German keeper spilling the ball into his own goal during a warm-up routine in pre-season. He also fumbled a shot from a freekick against Tranmere Rovers. His actions led to the non-league side scoring. Klopp had no choice but to sign another keeper. He looked no farther than the opposite end in the Champions League semifinal. Alisson Becker made the switch for a world record fee. After FSG shelled out £67 million, Karius knew he wouldn't be in contention anymore.
Besiktas stepped in with an offer the former Mainz keeper couldn't refuse. A move to a different country with a less-scrutinised league where he can escape his past. Whether he'll see playing time's a question left unanswered. Joining up with players such as Pepe, Adriano, Ricardo Quaresma, Ryan Babel, Alvaro Negredo and Vagner Love will at least be interesting from his perspective.
Karius' two-year loan will see him compete for the number one spot with Fabricio, Utku Yuvukuran and Tolga Zengin the club captain. If not considered the first choice he may be utilised in cup games. Besiktas boss Senol Gunes believes his new signing is a great addition to the squad, adding depth they need.
The move is temporary but there's an option to purchase the Liverpool player. It can go two ways. He'll redeem himself by becoming no.1 or sit on the bench for the loan's duration. Mind you, a two-year holiday in Turkey doesn't sound like a bad idea, does it?