Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher had a milestone campaign last season, but how long he will play second fiddle to Alisson Becker?
The Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has done a brilliant job in keeping the Liverpool camp happy. Each and every member of the squad understands their role in the team and so far the team as a unit has been successful.
But when it comes to the goalkeeping positions, one player has got the right to raise his question about his role, it’s Caoimhin Kelleher. There is no doubt about Liverpool’s No.1 Alisson, who is in the top tier of goalkeepers in the world. But the rise of Kelleher has offered the team success.
Last season, the 23-year-old had an incredible season playing second fiddle to Alisson. But given the Irishman’s potential and abilities, playing second fiddle to Alisson doesn’t do justice to him.
Of course, Kelleher doesn’t match the chance of taking over Alisson to become the first-choice goalkeeper for the Reds, but his strings of good performances suggest the Irishman is ready to be the first choice in top-flight standards.
Stay or Leave Liverpool for Caoimhin Kelleher?
The 23-year-old joined Liverpool’s youth system from Ringmahon Rangers in 2015. He made his first-team debut back in 2019, moreover, Kelleher has been impressive since overtaking Adrian to become second choice keeper behind Alisson.
Furthermore, the Irishman signed a new long-term deal last year at Anfield and was delighted to put pen and paper on the new deal. The current deal will keep Kelleher until the summer of 2026.
But Kelleher’s situation at Liverpool is a delicate one. At 23 years of age with his proven abilities, playing time at this stage of his career has to be a consideration.
Role at the International stage
The Republic of Ireland national team has got some serious young talents in the goalkeeping positions. Alongside Kelleher, 20-year-old Gavin Bazunu – has now joined Southampton from Man City. Plus, 23-year-old Mark Travers, who helped Bournemouth to Premier League promotion enjoyed an excellent season having topped the Championship clean sheet charts.
With Bazunu’s absence due to injury, Kelleher earned four caps for the Republic in the post-season Nations League games. However, only one clean sheet in four games hasn’t done any favour for him to overtake Banuzu for the No.1 position.
As Banuzu’s move to Southampton, where he will compete for the Saints’ starting position, meaning Kelleher has definitely got fierce competition for the position between the sticks for Republic.
However, Kelleher does have plenty to offer Ireland. The Liverpool No.62 is incredible and effortless with his feet, making every pass back look exceptionally easy. Moreover, the team gets a safety blanket for a team that isn’t necessarily blessed with the best ball-playing centre-halves.
But with cut-throat competition for the Republic of Ireland’s first-choice keeping spot, he’ll need to be playing football on a more regular basis.
Kelleher may eventually have to move on in order to fulfil his own ambitions.