Brazilian goalkeeper heading back to Anfield after loan spell cut short

Liverpool goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga is returning to Anfield after his loan spell at St Patrick’s Athletic was terminated early.

The Brazilian was expected to spend the full Premier Division season, which runs from spring to autumn, at the Irish club, but made only six appearances in all competitions since joining in January this year.

St Pat's manager Stephen Kenny announced on Friday that the 21-year-old would be returning to Anfield early.

“There has been a transformational change here in the off-season... we said goodbye to Marcelo, a great guy and a good career ahead of him, I think,” he said in quotes reported by SportsJoe.ie.

A tricky loan spell for Pitaluga

St Pat’s had high hopes for Pitaluga following the success of previous Liverpool loanee Vitezslav Jaros, who excelled two seasons ago and was included in Czechia's squad for Euro 2024.

However, Pitaluga struggled to make an impact, beginning with a disappointing performance in a 3-1 defeat to Waterford. This led then-manager Jon Daly to replace him with experienced goalkeeper Danny Rogers.

“Marcelo started the season, he’s not started to the levels he’d have hoped,” Daly said in March.

“He’s opening the door for Danny. Now it’s up to Danny to make sure he stays in the team.”

Daly was eventually sacked, partly due to recruitment issues, and was replaced by former Ireland manager Kenny.

Although there were expectations that Kenny might revive Pitaluga’s fortunes, the goalkeeper featured only once more, in a Leinster Senior Cup match, as Kenny preferred Rogers and later brought in Joseph Anang from West Ham.

Adrian departing and Kelleher's future in doubt

Pitaluga joined Liverpool from Fluminense in 2020 for a fee of around £2 million. Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker praised Pitaluga’s talent, describing him to the official website as “really special” and “a really good talent”.

Now, might be a good opportunity for him to show that.

With Adrian agreeing to rejoin La Liga side Real Betis, and second-choice stopper Caoimhin Kelleher out in search of regular first-team football, the Reds could be a bit short in the goalkeeping department going into pre-season.

It's no secret that Liverpool are in the market for a new goalkeeper this summer but have so far been rebuffed by both Burnley's James Trafford and Southampton's Alex McCarthy, a situation which has also led to the club blocking the departure of youth keeper Fabian Mrozek—for the time being at least.

Despite a disappointing loan, impressing new coach Arne Slot this pre-season could be a way for the Brazilian to get his development back on track.

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