Liverpool’s goalkeeping coach John Achterberg has revealed that he thinks Caoimhin Kelleher would benefit from a loan move with opportunities in Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League-winning squad currently limited – although he will not get one this summer.
Kelleher, 21, has been with the Reds since 2015 having joined from Ringmahon Rangers over five years ago. The Irishman has clocked up just four senior appearances at Liverpool, all of which occurred last season.
The 6ft 2in shot-stopper is a player who is highly rated amongst the Liverpool staff and is someone manager Jurgen Klopp lauded as ‘a sensational talent’ following his performance in a 2-0 victory against MK Dons in the Carabao Cup in September 2019.
In the long-term, Kelleher has an almost impossible task to secure the No.1 spot at Anfield with FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year Alisson Becker currently the main man between the sticks at Anfield.
Kelleher’s pathway into the first-team was also further complicated by the club’s fourth summer signing of the transfer window after Liverpool purchased Marcelo Pitaluga from Brazilian outfit Fluminese.
The Republic of Ireland international may currently be the club’s third-choice goalkeeper, but with Alisson only 28 and still way off his goalkeeping peak, the reality for Kelleher is that he may have to look elsewhere in the future for regular first-team football.
His goalkeeping coach Achterberg agrees and has claimed that he believes a loan move for Kelleher would be ideal for the young shot-stopper although with Kelleher and Adrian currently the club’s only available options in goal, it is very unlikely Liverpool will look to sanction a loan deal.
For now, though, Kelleher will only continue to improve under the tutelage of the Liverpool staff as well as arguably the planet’s finest goalkeeper in the form of Alisson. Surrounding yourself on a daily basis with world-class players and facilities is only going to benefit Kelleher’s career further, and this is something that Achterberg believes will lead to more opportunities for the Liverpool talent.
Speaking in an interview with the Sunday World, Achterberg said: “He would like to play games, and obviously that would be easier if he went out on loan, but the problem for us is we need three good goalies, and he is one of our three.
“For his development, a loan move would be his next step, but the club have to make sure they have everything covered in case we have a problem with our keepers, and we know it would be hard to find a keeper as good as him if we let him go out on loan.
“It’s not the ideal solution for him and maybe playing matches would be what he needs now, but he is training with top players every day at Liverpool, playing in our under-23 games and that will allow him to continue to progress. Working with someone as good as Alison every day for the last couple of years can only help him. He sets such high standards in everything he does, and you can only learn from working with someone like that.”
“The higher level you train at every day allows you to take your career up to the next level, but it would be the best solution for him to have a spell on loan at some point.
“What I would say is we would have no issue putting him into a game, and I know the manager has faith in him as well. This manager shows great interest in everyone in his squad.
“He appreciates that you need a big squad to win anything and it might be that we need to play our third-choice keeper in a big game at some point,” he added.