Loris Karius is Liverpool's weakest link
Klopp is running out of reasons to defend his unreliable goalkeeper
What seemed like a shrewd piece of business for Liverpool has become a recurring nightmare.
If David James was known as "Calamity James" during his time at Anfield, then Loris Karius is fast gaining the unwanted nickname of "Liability Loris".
The German goalkeeper's pleas for patience aren't finding many willing listeners.
It's hard to empathise when the mistakes are piling up at this alarming rate.
The £4.7 million (S$8.48m) man from Mainz, voted the second-best Bundesliga goalkeeper last season, has fallen way short of expectations and it's threatening to derail his team's Premier League title ambitions.
Another error by Karius on Sunday cost Liverpool dearly.
In a match which they should have won, the Reds drew 2-2 against West Ham, a result which saw them fall six points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Dimitri Payet's free-kick goal, which levelled the score at 1-1, wouldn't have gone down well with the Kop.
The Frenchman's shot was relatively weak and wasn't even headed for the bottom corner, but Karius' questionable positioning and slow reflexes allowed it to creep in.
The criticism from football pundits came in fast and furious.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, now working as a pundit for Sky Sports, had no problems with Karius' positioning, but seemed perplexed at why he couldn't pull off a straightforward save.
He said: "His positioning is fine, he gets across, he reads it well, and he's there.
"And his wrists, again, kind of like the first goal (sic) at Bournemouth - not strong enough.
"It's not even in the corner, and Payet hasn't even hit it that hard."
Ex-Liverpool skipper Jamie Redknapp was more brutal in his assessment.
He said: "'That is poor goalkeeping. He has to save that. It's as though he has chocolate fingers - he crumbles."
Unfortunately for the 23-year-old German, his woeful performance couldn't be dismissed simply as a one-off.
Two Sundays ago, when Bournemouth pulled off that remarkable 4-3 comeback win against Liverpool at the Vitality Stadium, he bore the brunt of the criticism. And rightly so.
Ryan Fraser's goal, which reduced Bournemouth's deficit to 3-2, was one that most would expect a top goalkeeper to save.
Nathan Ake's injury-time winner, which came after Karius had spilled Steve Cook's long-range shot into Ake's path, summed up a horrendous performance.
Plenty more mistakes have gone unpunished.
But his lack of confidence, especially in the air, and poor decision-making are why Bournemouth targeted him during their match, as Cook himself admitted.
Juergen Klopp once again refused to pin the blame on the fumbling custodian.
The Reds boss' repeated defence of his compatriot may be well intentioned, but it is likely to fall on deaf ears.
Karius' speed, anticipation and aggression are qualities Klopp thought would fit in well with his plans.
Factor in his excellent ball-playing skills too, and the shot-stopper would allow Liverpool to press higher up the field.
Well, in theory, at least.
Asked if he thought Karius was at fault for Payet's goal on Sunday, Klopp said: "I've really no idea. You are the seventh person who has asked me this.
"Maybe he was (out of position) or you are all blind. I've only seen it once. I will have to see it again."
Karius also found rare support in the form of ex-England captain Alan Shearer, who reasoned that he is still new to the Premier League.
He said: "Yes, he has made mistakes, but you've also got to look at the guys in front of him who are not giving him anywhere near enough protection at all."
But kind words for Karius seem to be the exception rather than the rule.
The calls for him to be dropped are growing louder.
At this rate, they will soon become impossible for Klopp to ignore.
Played: 10 matches
Clean sheets: 3
Shots on goal faced: 32
Saves made: 20
Goals conceded per game (Karius): 1.2
Compared with goalkeepers from other clubs (selected):
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea): 0.73
Hugo Lloris (Spurs): 0.77
Lee Grant (Stoke): 0.8
Petr Cech (Arsenal): 1
David de Gea (Man Utd): 1.07
Claudio Bravo (Man City): 1.33
- Bournemouth v Leicester (3.45am)
- Everton v Arsenal (3.45am)
- Middlesbrough v Liverpool (3.45am)
- Sunderland v Chelsea (3.45am)
- West Ham v Burnley (3.45am)
- Crystal Palace v Man United (4am)
- Man City v Watford (4am)
- Stoke City v Southampton (4am)
- Tottenham v Hull City (4am)
- West Brom v Swansea (4am)