Excited Karius says Besiktas right move for 'next career step'

Stuart WILLIAMS
Loris Karius arriving at Besiktas for his two-year loan

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius on Wednesday said his loan to Turkish side Besiktas was the right move for the next step in his career after his errors cost the Premiership team the Champions League final.

"It is a great group of players and I am very excited and honoured to play for a club with such a tradition and amazing fans," the German said in his first comments since joining the Istanbul club on a two-year loan deal.

"I came here as I think I can make the next step in my career and improve," said the 25-year-old, who has yet to break through into the German international side.

"I am still young for a goalkeeper and looking for the next step in my career," he added.

- 'Unlucky day' -

Karius lost his Liverpool first team place in the wake of his traumatic performance in the Champions League final, when two glaring errors handed Real Madrid a 3-1 victory.

Liverpool signed Brazilian keeper Alisson in the summer but Karius said his fellow German Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was still sorry to see him go.

"He told me he would like to have me in squad but I asked him for my wish and that it's important for me" to leave, said Karius.

"I talked a long time. He understands my situation. I think it was a good idea for everyone and he wished me well."

He played down the nightmare of the Champions League final, saying: "This is life, this is football, mistakes happen to any player... It was an unlucky day but that's football."

- 'Best for club' -

He also passed his best wishes to his former Liverpool teammate and Belgian international goalkeeper Simon Mignolet who appears destined to spend the season as understudy to Alisson.

Mignolet had been quoted as saying in Belgian media it was "bizarre" that Karius had been allowed to leave while he had to stay at Liverpool without first team football.

"If you look at it from a neutral perspective, then Liverpool looks at what is best for the club. There must have been a reason," said Karius.

"I hope he (Mignolet) still has a good season there," he added.

Besiktas, whose former first choice goalkeeper Fabri left in the summer for Fulham, won the Turkish title two seasons in a row but their run was ended last season by Istanbul rivals Galatasaray.

Their need for a goalkeeper of Karius' calibre was underlined by a shock 2-3 defeat at the weekend to Antalyaspor. The club on Thursday faces a crucial home Europa League play-off home to Partizan, with the score 1-1 after the first leg.