Loris Karius is set to make his Liverpool debut against Derby County in the EFL Cup, with Jurgen Klopp unwilling to label either of his frontline goalkeepers as number one.
Karius joined Anfield from Mainz during the close season but suffered a broken hand and only returned to full training a fortnight ago.
The 23-year-old’s absence allowed Simon Mignolet to resume duties as Liverpool’s starting goalkeeper in the Premier League and Klopp is pleased with the competition for places he has between the posts ahead of the third-round clash at the iPro Stadium.
“The thing we wanted to have was two really, really strong goalkeepers and I think now that is what we have got,” he told reporters.
“[Karius] had an advantage in pre-season but he couldn’t use it because of the injury. Simon came back exactly at this moment from the [Belgium] national team and did a brilliant job.
“I don’t want to really make a big battle of these two goalkeepers. Why should I? Goalkeepers need to feel secure.
“The pressure on the players is big enough, I do not have to make any more. It’s all about what I see in training and what I see is two very, very good goalkeepers.”
Asked whether Mignolet would definitely return for the weekend Premier League match with Hull City, Klopp explained his reasoning for being non-committal.
“Where is my possibility to answer? If I say ‘yes’, what would this mean for Loris? If I say ‘no’, what would this mean for Simon?” he said.
“Maybe the question makes sense but the answer doesn’t make sense. There is no number one in this moment, no decision to make.
“It is only about performing, showing how good you are. For the other players it is the same. I don’t say, ‘now for the next 15 months he is our centre-half’.”
Another German back in line for action with Liverpool is midfielder Emre Can, who has been absent since suffering an ankle problem during the round-two rout of Burton Albion.
“Emre’s in training and when he’s in training then he’s available,” Klopp explained.
“He was last week in training but we took him to the side to do some specific work because he didn’t have a proper pre-season, and now with injuries then he’s not been available for three or four weeks. It [the game at Burton] was not yesterday, that’s for sure.
“He’s available and now he can collect match time. How much, if he starts or not – no decision until now.”