LONDON • Loris Karius has staked his claim to be Liverpool's first-choice goalkeeper, saying that he expects to oust Simon Mignolet, having sacrificed a place in Germany's Olympic team in order to prove himself at Anfield.
In a revealing insight into the 23-year-old's character and self-belief, two of the qualities which prompted manager Jurgen Klopp to sign him from Bundesliga club Mainz, Karius claimed he is too good to be a substitute at Liverpool.
He insisted that he agreed to return to English football only on the basis that he will play, following an unrewarding spell at Manchester City as a teenager.
With Mignolet yet to return to training following his involvement at Euro 2016 with Belgium, Karius is given an early opportunity to prove himself in Liverpool's pre-season matches and he does not intend to waste the chance.
He has even gone so far as to inform Germany that he does not want to be included in their Olympic team due to club commitments.
Instead of playing for his national team in Brazil, Karius expects to be selected for the Reds' opening two Premier League fixtures, at Arsenal (Aug 14) and Burnley (Aug 20).
Should that happen, Mignolet's status as No. 1 goalkeeper will be lost after three mixed seasons.
"I wouldn't come here just to sit on the bench. That doesn't make sense for me," Karius said.
"I'm not a 'keeper who hasn't shown his ability. I know I am a good goalkeeper."
Regarded as one of the Bundesliga's most promising goalkeepers before moving to Liverpool for £5 million (S$8.9 million), Karius has already had one brief spell in English football.
He spent 21/2 years in City's junior ranks before joining Mainz in order to play regular football in August 2011.
During discussions with Klopp before his move to Anfield, Karius was not swayed from the idea that he could hold down a regular starting place in the Liverpool team, but he would not be drawn on whether he has been afforded any guarantees to that effect.
"What we've talked about stays with us," the goalkeeper said.
"Of course I know that a club like this has more competition.
"I am not scared or anything. If I was, I wouldn't have come here. I have a good feeling."
THE TIMES, LONDON