Caoimhin Kelleher has the chance of a lifetime at Liverpool. The Irishman made his Champions League debut in a 1-0 win over Ajax on Tuesday.
Jurgen Klopp gave Caoimhin Kelleher a chance on Tuesday when he really didn’t have to. Adrian – a far more proven and experienced goalkeeper – sat on the bench as the 22-year-old stood between the sticks.
We have it down as arguably the biggest risk of Klopp’s Liverpool career. In a game that held so much importance to the team, he went with a player who barely has a senior game under his belt.
And the risk paid off. Kelleher played well and kept a clean-sheet under pressure, winning Liverpool the game and earning qualification from the Champions League group stage.
Just like that Kelleher has the chance of a lifetime.
Kelleher will surely get the next few games for Liverpool, given Alisson Becker is injured. But really, this opportunity means more than that.
This isn’t the ordinary opportunity to be a backup goalkeeper. Nor is it a usual position behind one of the world’s best.
Alisson’s injury record since his £67m move isn’t great. This is his second spell out this season, for instance, while he missed enough games last campaign that Adrian played 18 times.
So Kelleher has a chance to be in position for a far more lucrative role than usual. Being backup behind Alisson gets you plenty of games in a season – and that’s an incredible place to be for a young goalkeeper.
The Irishman needs to earn his spot, though, and prove that not only is he a better fit than Adrian, but Liverpool don’t need to sign anyone.
If he can do that, Kelleher will find himself in position to play big games for Liverpool, simply because Alisson can’t stay fit all season.