Newcastle United recently signed Loris Karius on a short-term deal as cover for the injured Karl Darlow. But it seems he was not the first-choice option from the free agent goalkeeper list.
Former England international goalkeeper Ben Foster announced his retirement (sort of) from football on his Fozcast podcast last week. In doing so, he also dropped a Newcastle United shaped bombshell.
He spoke of how Newcastle United were keen on bringing him to St James’ Park as cover for Nick Pope. This came after regular back-up Karl Darlow was ruled out until 2023 with an ankle injury.
Foster, who previously worked with Newcastle United director of football Dan Ashworth at West Brom, was out of contract after leaving relegated Watford in the summer.
The deal was clearly one Newcastle were keen on. Foster even suggested the Magpies were willing to meet his hefty wage demands.
Ben Foster turned Newcastle United down
However, the 39-year-old turned the opportunity down. The distance from his Midlands home proved too prohibitive a barrier and the offer was the catalyst to hanging up his gloves. He even called Ashworth personally to give him the bad news.
But what does it mean for the man who eventually did join Newcastle United? With Foster saying no, Newcastle needed an alternative to Darlow. Step up former Liverpool goalie Loris Karius.
The German was also a free agent after his contract at Liverpool expired in the summer.
“Loris was the outstanding candidate when we looked at the goalkeepers available which was quite a small pool,” said Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe of the deal recently, as reported by BBC Sport. “He’s at a really good age, he’s had some incredible experiences in his career and he’s come in and trained very well.”
Is Loris Karius really Newcastle United’s ‘outstanding candidate’?
Of course, Karius is best known for the errors he made during his time at Anfield. That includes two clangers in the UEFA Champions League final back in 2018.
So while Howe now calls him the “outstanding candidate” Foster’s comments suggest otherwise. It seems the veteran was in fact ahead in the queue on Newcastle’s wanted list – prior to making himself unavailable.
Given the troubles Karius has suffered in recent years, Newcastle United fans will hope the 29-year-old does not feel like the second-choice option for second-choice goalie when called upon in the event of an injury to Pope.
If he does, then a repeat of his previous errors could certainly be possible.