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Loris Karius makes Union Berlin debut amid loan question marks

Loris Karius made his competitive debut for Union Berlin on Tuesday, but his future with the German club is uncertain after struggling to make a breakthrough.

It’s been a turbulent few years for Karius after his future at Liverpool came to an end in the summer of 2018 following the Champions League final and the arrival of Alisson.

Successive loan spells with Besiktas made way for a switch back to his native Germany, with Union Berlin signing the 27-year-old on a season-long loan deal this summer.

The switch represented a fresh start for Karius as he looked to find his feet once more, but it has been another frustrating period having struggled to displace Andreas Luthe in the No. 1 spot.

A friendly outing back in October was his maiden appearance for Union, with his competitive debut only arriving in their final matchday of 2020 in the second round of DFB Pokal against second division SC Paderborn.

Karius started alongside fellow Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi in a 3-2 loss on home soil, where both would be left to rue missed opportunities.

The latter had a multitude of chances to continue his rich vein of form in front of goal, where he headed into the clash with four goals in his last six league games, only to find the upright or fire wide.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Tuesday, July 10, 2018: Liverpool's captain James Milner put this arm around the waist of goalkeeper Loris Karius after the final whistle in a preseason friendly match between Tranmere Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Prenton Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

The match did not make for good reading for Karius either having seen three of Paderborn’s five shots on the night all nestle in the back of the net, having been unable to parry balls clear of immediate danger while also watching the ball sail through his legs.

All three of the opposition’s goals came in the first half in a performance from Karius which is unlikely to unsettle the pecking order at Union, with Luthe to keep hold of his spot when they return to action after the New Year.

It was a long-awaited opportunity for Karius who has seen his loan spell come under question by German outlet Kicker, who claim there’s a chance of a “possible premature end of the loan” in January.

It would enforce a return to Anfield but the club would no doubt be eager to see him settle elsewhere with no opportunities to present themself with Jurgen Klopp, with Alisson, Caoimhin Kelleher and Adrian all at his disposal.

Karius’ future could be tied up in Union’s plans for their young shot-stopper Lennart Moser, who would take a place on the bench in the absence of the Liverpool loanee.

It’s another sad state of affairs for Karius who needs to find a place to settle and restart his career and Union does not appear to be the one to provide the platform to do so.

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