A rarely-seen Liverpool player who never lets Jurgen Klopp down has been urged to quit the club if he’s ever to reach his true potential.
Liverpool’s season has been a tale of one false dawn after another, with their well-documented midfield issues making it easy for opposing sides to create chance after chance.
But for the heroics of Alisson Becker, Liverpool may already be out of the top four race. Indeed, if the season ended today, the Brazilian would cruise to Liverpool’s Player of the Season award.
Alisson has been everything Liverpool fans could’ve hoped for and more. He – along with Virgil van Dijk – are prime examples of when paying colossal fees can be justified.
However, Alisson doesn’t play every game each season and during his rare absences – primarily in the domestic cups – Caoimhín Kelleher steps in.
The Irish international, 24, has been nothing short of sensational for the Reds in knockout competitions. Penalty-saving is his forte, though his all-around game during normal time is also at a high level.
Speaking after Liverpool’s EFL Cup victory over Derby on penalties in November, Klopp labelled Kelleher “absolutely exceptional”. That type of lofty praise from the German towards his stopper is not a one-off.
Kelleher is already good enough to be a regular Premier League starter at most other clubs. A high class No 2 is a luxury Liverpool possess, though one observer thinks it cannot go on for much longer.
Via the Liverpool Echo, former Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, stressed Kelleher “will need to leave Liverpool” if he’s ever to reach his true potential.
Kelleher has less than 20 senior first-team matches under his belt and if he intends to become a regular, it stands to reason it cannot be at Anfield.
“Kelleher will need to leave Liverpool to fulfil his full potential,” said Lennon.
“It will be difficult for him to displace Alisson Becker. However, he is still young and has plenty of football ahead of him.
“I’m sure he and Jurgen Klopp would have had conversations about this.”
Kelleher’s view on Liverpool exit
Kelleher was asked about potentially leaving the Reds in late-December.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, the keeper returned a diplomatic response, though did reaffirm he’d “rather be playing” than watching from the sidelines.
“I am quite relaxed, so I don’t mind watching, but obviously I’d rather be playing but I just try to be as focused as I can be when I watch so I am ready if I am needed,” said Kelleher on being a backup option.
“Listen, I think we’ve obviously only just come back into the middle of the season.
“So we’ll just see what the season brings and then after that we’ll see, we’ll see what happens after that. But I think at the moment, for now, I just have to be focused on trying to be ready for Liverpool.”
If a sale is eventually sanctioned, Liverpool will hope to recoup a sizeable fee.
They famously sold Danny Ward to Leicester for around £12.5m and the Welshman had done little before or since to suggest he’s anywhere near the player Kelleher already is.
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