Liverpool goalkeeper has reportedly not been spotted in Portugal ahead of Benfica clash

The Liverpool Echo has reported, as cited by Anfield Watch on Twitter, that the Reds' second-choice goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher has not been spotted in Portugal ahead of tonight's Champions League quarter-final clash (first leg) against Benfica at the Estadio da Luz.

No clear reason as to why the Irishman is absent has been provided. Adrian has been spotted in Portugal, which does suggest that he will be Liverpool's reserve goalkeeper for the clash against Benfica.

Anfield Watch Verdict

Kelleher's absence should not change anything for Liverpool tonight. Alisson is the club's No.1 goalkeeper, so it would be fair to assume that he was always going to start against Benfica.

On another note, Kelleher has had a really promising start to his senior career. The Irishman has kept eight clean sheets in 20 appearances for Liverpool's first-team.

Kelleher was also in goal when the Reds defeated Chelsea on penalties at Wembley Stadium to secure the League Cup back in February.

However, we do believe that if the 23-year-old wants to take his game to the next level, he will need to go out on loan at some stage.

The reality is, Alisson is only 29 years of age and contracted until June 2027. So, the Brazil international's time at Anfield is far from done.

Therefore, we would like to see Kelleher go out on loan. There is only so much a player can learn from sitting on the bench.

Former Newcastle United Shay Given agrees with us.

“Even from a Liverpool point of view, they need to get him out playing, get him that experience, then bring him back and get him challenging Alisson," he told Premier Sports back in January.

“If it was me, I’d be knocking Klopp’s door down, I really would. I’d be saying that I need to go out on loan, go and play."

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