The issue surrounding Caoimhin Kelleher's future at Liverpool

The issue surrounding Caoimhin Kelleher's future at Liverpool

The 2018 Champions League final, which Liverpool lost 3-1 to Real Madrid, was a watershed moment for Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.

It was clear that the German had to replace goalkeeper Loris Karius. The 28-year-old was at fault for two of the three goals that the Reds conceded on the night.

With that being the case, Klopp signed Roma shot-stopper Alisson for a transfer fee of €62.50 million the following summer.

Since then, Liverpool have gone on to claim the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and Premier League title.

Alisson has clearly had a positive impact on the group. The Brazil international is only 29 years of age, which does highlight that his career is far from finished.

But, that is bad news for Liverpool's No.2 goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher. The Irishman has made 16 appearances for Liverpool's first-team.

Kelleher has performed well when given a chance. The shot-stopper has kept seven clean sheets. Footage of Kelleher highlights that he is composed, strong and a good shot-stopper.

In other words, he is good enough to play for Liverpool.

Klopp is a big fan of Kelleher. As quoted by Planet Football, the 54-year-old said the following earlier this year: “We consider Caoimhin as an outstanding goalie; he’s not a good goalie, an outstanding goalie, and we want to keep him here.

“It is all about performing of course. If he didn’t perform on the level he performed when he has played then I would maybe think differently.

“But he has shown he deserves all the trust and faith that we have in him.”

Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane has also had plenty of good things to say about Kelleher.

As quoted by Pundit Arena, the 50-year-old told ITV the following earlier this month: “Apparently when he was younger he started off as an outfield player, possibly a striker. He obviously wasn’t very good because they pushed back.

“He’s obviously done very well for himself. Martin (O’Neil) brought him into the senior squad when we were with Ireland and what you’d say about him is he has a fantastic temperament and that’s what you need to be a good goalkeeper particularly at the big clubs.”

Keane continued: “He’s done very well, great with his feet, a real maturity about him when he came into the Irish squad when I was there with Martin – a real nice presence about him.

“He wasn’t giddy around the place, his training, his attitude was spot on and it’s good to see him get some minutes for Liverpool.”

At 23 years of age, Kelleher should be playing regular senior football. But, as we have already pointed out, he is not.

With Alisson going nowhere in a hurry, the club would be wise to loan Kelleher out next season.

Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given shares the same opinion.

The 45-year-old recently told Premier Sport the following: "He's not a kid anymore, 23 is an age where I think he should be playing regular first-team football.

"The biggest problem he has is that Alisson is ahead of him. Alisson is in the prime of his life and could be for the next five or six years."

If Liverpool can't help Kelleher gain regular senior football, we do fear that he could be forced into making a permanent move elsewhere.

The Reds have a goalkeeper that could quite easily replace Alisson in the future. Therefore, the club would be wise to try and keep Kelleher happy. A loan spell or two might do that for the time being.

If Liverpool can keep Kelleher busy, he may hang around to eventually replace Alisson.

The Irishman's contract expires in June 2026, which does suggest that he is committed to the club. But, things can obviously change very quickly.

Only time will tell where Kelleher's long-term future lies.

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