Jurgen Klopp has praised the work done by Liverpool’s goalkeeping department, after Caoimhin Kelleher’s midweek penalty masterclass.
The Reds’ back-up goalie put in another brilliant display as he saved three spot-kicks in the shootout against Derby County. And asked about Kelleher during his pre-match press conference via Liverpool FC on YouTube, Klopp gave a shoutout to the whole goalkeeping unit.
“Our style suits him [Kelleher] very well. He’s really calm on the ball, he’s involved in build-up play, he’s like the blonde version of Ali!” began the Liverpool boss.
“He can learn from an incredibly dedicated goalkeeper coaching staff. These boys are special coaches, they really are. It’s not just Caoimh, we have Marcelo [Pitaluga] as well, we have Harvey [Davies] as well. Of course, Adrian is there who always delivered when was needed – perfect professional. So many role models. And then you have Ali, who combines pretty much everything. This department is really exciting what is coming up.”
As Kelleher proved once again on Wednesday, Liverpool don’t need to worry about their goalkeeping division at all.
Alisson leads the way for Liverpool
In some ways, Liverpool excellent barrage of young goalkeepers feels like a bit of a waste. Not to put a negative slant on things, but there’s no way any of them is getting past Alisson right now.
If things go to plan, the Brazilian will be at the club for the next five years at least. That’s when his current contract is due to expire.
By then, Alisson will be pushing thirty-five. But in this footballing climate, that’s no age, especially for a goalkeeper.
Should he maintain his current level, the 30-year-old will be the Reds ‘keeper for much of the next decade.
As a result, the best any of the newcomers can hope for is a spot as his No.2. Unfortunately, that means that if any of them are truly top-level goalkeepers, then they’ll probably move on in search of a starting berth.
That looks like being the way things may play out with Kelleher. But you never know, the Irishman might just feel his progress is better served by learning from the best in the business for a little while at least.
You get the impression that, were he further down the pecking order for his country, Kelleher might not be too bothered.
But, with a starting position for Ireland up for grabs – and, crucially, with the talent to take it – the young goalie may decide he has to move on. If that’s to be the case, then either Pitaluga, Davies, or anyone else, will have some pretty big gloves to fill.