Loris Karius says his aim is to push Nick Pope all the way for his Newcastle starting role after joining the Magpies on a short-term deal.
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Karius has moved back to the Premier League following an injury to back-up stopper Karl Darlow. The Englishman has suffered an ankle problem and is out until 2023. Eddie Howe consequently moved to sign a replacement.
With the transfer window closed, there was a smaller pool of free agent players to go for.
However, manager Howe has insisted that Karius has proved a sensible selection after his Liverpool contract expired this summer.
“We are pleased to add Loris to our goalkeeping group,” Howe told Newcastle’s official website.
“He is a very good goalkeeper with Premier League and European experience and he will provide competition and support over an important part of the season.”
Karius admitted that news of Newcastle’s interest “came out of nowhere”. He was in his Berlin flat, had to quickly book his flight and then left for England at 4.30am to finalise his return to action.
And he insisted a move back to the Premier League proved a key motivation for his move.
Loris Karius explains Newcastle move
Karius said: “I’m excited. It’s a good opportunity for me and a great project to be part of. It didn’t take me long to make a decision.
“Newcastle have a great coach and play really attractive football. I felt it was the right project for me and I’m excited to work with the coaches and my new teammates.”
He added on his reasons for the move: “Coming back to the Premier League, the best league in the world. Newcastle have a great coach, they’re building something really exciting.
“They play good football, I just felt it’s the right project for me to be part of and I’ll do my best to help the club move forward where they want to go.”
Karius, 29, added that he is looking forward to working with former Bournemouth manager Howe.
“I’m excited, I know him since quite a bit now from playing against him,” the German said. “It was always very difficult to play against him. He’s a very exciting coach and he plays really attractive football.”
Contrasting expectations for goalkeeper
With Darlow out until 2023, Karius can expect to be England international Pope’s deputy for a while.
And given the congested nature of the football schedule until the World Cup, Karius may yet get some chances.
However, if Pope stays fit – with the 30-year-old eyeing a World Cup place himself – there is little chance of game time for the new recruit.
Pope will want to keep building the impressive momentum he has built up. Indeed, it feels like he has taken a big step up in his career after leaving Burnley, with Newcastle going places under Howe.
Karius will therefore struggle to make a big impact on the team unless injury strikes for the No. 1. What’s more, the fact that he has barely played any football in recent seasons mean Howe will likely want to throw him in straight away.
The stopper will need to get up to speed and while that will take longer the more time he goes without game time, it is a balance worth striking to ensure Newcastle stay on track.