Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has completed the signing of Loris Karius from former club Mainz in deal worth almost £5 million to the German side.
At just 22 years of age, Karius has already made close to 100 league appearances for one of the Bundesliga’s surprise packages.
Klopp, who first made his name in management at the helm of Mainz, has been keeping a close eye on his progress though and with a fee in the region of £4.7 million agreed, it could prove to be one of the transfer coups of the summer.
Here is everything you need to know about Karius – a future King of the Kop.
Tipped to shine from an early age, Karius signed for VfB Stuttgart as a 12-year-old back in 2005.
A club with something of a pedigree for nurturing young goalkeepers like Timo Hildebrand, Karius would spend four seasons on the books of the Swabians before an appearance in a German under-16 international saw the youngster catch the eye of Manchester City’s scouts.
Manchester City Mega-Bucks
Though Stuttgart was keen to keep hold of him, the club’s youth co-ordinator Thomas Allbeck revealed that Manchester City priced them out of a deal by offering Karius a bumper three-year deal.
Though legally City could only pay him £65 a week as a trainee, the new deal had a whole host of clauses, bonuses and add-ons to ensure it was and offer that was simply too good to refuse.
“There was an exorbitant amount of money involved,” Allbeck said. “It was well out of proportion.”
Karius is a goalkeeper very much shaped in the mould of Manuel Neuer, with the 22-year-old very happy to play the role of sweeper-keeper when the situation calls for it.
More importantly, he has the skill on the ball to do it, having already pulled off this rather delightful Cruyff turn in a Bundesliga game.
With time very much on his side, Karius could be the man to fill Neuer’s sizeable boots for Die Mannschaft in a few years time.
Premier League Pursuit
A highly rated goalkeeper at the time, Karius’ agent claimed that Manchester City was not the only English club to be chasing his signature.
“We had many offers — 70 per cent of Premier League sides wanted Loris,” he said.
Despite making several appearances for the Blues’ Under-18 and Under-21 sides, Karius failed to force his way into City’s first team plans and was eventually loaned out to Mainz in 2011.
After a spell in the club’s second string, the mid-game dismissal of first-choice shot-stopper Christian Wetklo saw Karius given his big chance, with the 22-year-old rarely looking back since.
Mainz Made Sense
Karius eventually made his Mainz loan switch a permanent one, with the goalkeeper evidently favouring first-team football over the bumper pay deal offered by City.
“It’s nice that I can continue to develop in … [the] Bundesliga with a long-term perspective,” he told Kicker.
Over time, coach Thomas Tuchel placed more and more responsibility on the youngster’s shoulders, with the future Borussia Dortmund coach evidently seeing plenty of potential in his young charge.
Arsenal As Ever
Prior to the arrival of Petr Cech at the Emirates, Arsenal was thought to be keen on the 22-year-old with Arsene Wenger reportedly sending scouts to watch the shot-stopper in action.
Ultimately and, perhaps unsurprisingly for Arsenal fans, that interest failed to become anything concrete.
An ever-present for Mainz in the Bundesliga this season, Karius was voted the joint-third best goalkeeper in the division behind only Neuer and Bernd Leno.
During that campaign, he racked up commendable nine clean sheets for the unfashionable German club, pulling off two memorable penalty saves along the way.
Quick and with lighting reflexes, Karius certainly seems a sharper goalkeeper than Mignolet and, if established now, could dominate at Anfield for years to come.
Having already ditched City for first-team football at Mainz, he has not moved to Merseyside to warm the bench either.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.