Besiktas manager Senol Gunes has questioned Loris Karius’ “enthusiasm for the game” after the Liverpool loanee produced a shoddy showing against Konyaspor at the weekend.
The German shot-stopper is currently on a two-year loan deal from Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp sought to acquire the services of Alisson last summer.
How has Karius fared in Turkey? Five key things to know…
- Following a number of costly errors in the Champions League final last May, Karius was shipped out to Besiktas in August.
- The 25-year-old has struggled in Istanbul, keeping just five clean sheets in 26 games.
- In November, Besiktas president Fikret Orman was forced to deny reports the club wanted to terminate Karius’ loan following his poor start.
- The German’s misfortunes continued on Saturday after home fans jeered him for failing to keep out a simple shot from Konyaspor’s Omer Ali Sahiner.
- Besiktas ultimately won the match 3-2 but manager Gunes has since questioned Karius’ motivation levels.
Since relocating to BJK Vodafone Park, Karius has struggled to rediscover his early Liverpool form, conceding another sloppy goal against Konyaspor on Saturday, which prompted heckles and jeers from the Besiktas faithful.
The club’s blushes were ultimately spared courtesy of a late Shinji Kagawa winner, but that did not stop manager Gunes launching a verbal tirade towards Karius, who he believes has not fully integrated himself into the squad.
“He was at fault for the goals he conceded,” Gunes said.
“Karius has gone a bit stagnant, something is wrong with his electricity, motivation, enthusiasm for the game.
“It has been like that since the beginning. He does not really feel a part of the team.
“It’s something we haven’t been able to work out and, of course, I am partly to blame for this.”
And while Gunes has shouldered some of the blame for Karius’ poor form, he went on to issue a further broadside towards his current No.1, saying he would have no qualms dropping him were 35-year-old Tolga Zengin available for selection.
“Something is wrong, he has also been unlucky,” Gunes added.
“[He] is talented but it hasn’t worked out and we have a problem. Let me put it this way, if I still had Tolga available, I would play him.”
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Where next for Karius?
Having supplanted Simon Mignolet at Anfield last season, many were tipping the former Mainz 05 ‘keeper to cement a starting berth on Merseyside for years to come.
However, an error-laden performance against Real Madrid in Kiev last May cost Liverpool the chance of securing a Champions League title.
As such, the Reds signed Alisson from Roma for a then-record £66.8m fee paid for a goalkeeper, and the Brazilian has since flourished between the sticks.
It is now almost certain that Karius’ future lies away from Anfield, and it is not even certain he will complete the full two seasons of his loan with Besiktas.
Gunes’ latest comments spell significant danger for the under-fire shot-stopper who appears completely devoid of confidence.
With his future in Turkey seemingly in the balance, Karius may yet return to Anfield in the summer, but the general consensus appears that his Liverpool days are numbered.