Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher wasn’t in the best of form for the Republic of Ireland last night.
Despite having little game time recently, the Reds ‘keeper was given the nod between the sticks as Ireland took on Latvia in a friendly.
Having raced into an early two-goal lead, Kelleher and co were pegged back by half-time. Although they ultimately went on to win the game 3-2, RTE weren’t hugely impressed with the Liverpool man’s display.
The rating started off okay, with Kelleher said to be showing ‘no signs of rust’ despite not playing for over two months. The 24-year-old also reportedly ‘kept his cool’ in typical fashion to deal with an early Latvian attack.
But the reason for his five out of ten soon becomes clear. It’s claimed that Kelleher ‘couldn’t control the ball’ after saving an initial shot, and let the ball ‘trickle in’ to the goal. A less than convincing display from our number two by the sounds of it.
Kelleher sends reminder of summer plans
You can forgive Kelleher a little rustiness for last night’s game. He’s only played three times this season for Liverpool after all.
But that will be a worry for Ireland boss Stephen Kenny and underlines why the ‘keeper should probably look to leave Anfield this summer.
If he continues to look shaky for his country then he’s not going to usurp Gavin Bazunu as the long-term No.1. Bazunu is playing regular Premier League football with Southampton despite being three years younger than Kelleher.
From where we’re sitting though, Caoimh is the better goalie. If he gets game time week-in-week-out at a good level – which he’s capable of – it’ll surely end the debate for Kenny.
For Liverpool, it will be a huge shame to lose such a talented young ‘keeper. Kelleher has proven himself to be more than adept at covering the absence of Alisson Becker. It won’t be easy to replace him.
But for the good of Kelleher himself, and also as a boost to the Reds transfer kitty, it’s the right time for him to go. He’ll surely add to his 10 international caps regardless of whether he does or not. For his own development purposes though, the time has now come.
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