Kelleher’s Crossroads: The Liverpool No.2’s Dilemma
The Anfield Conundrum
Caoimhin Kelleher, Liverpool’s trusted backup goalkeeper, has been a reliable figure between the posts whenever called upon. Despite being the Reds’ second choice for several seasons, his Premier League appearances have been limited. Notably, he was only given the nod once last season, during the final match against Southampton.
Since making his debut in a Carabao Cup triumph over MK Dons, Kelleher has clocked up a total of 21 appearances. One of his standout moments came in February 2022 when he was the linchpin in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup victory over Chelsea, confidently slotting home the decisive penalty in a nail-biting shootout at Wembley.
Jason McAteer, a former Liverpool stalwart, recently weighed in on Kelleher’s situation during a chat with BoyleSports. He acknowledged Kelleher’s contributions, especially his heroics in the League Cup final. However, McAteer emphasised the essence of football: playing the game.
According to McAteer, Kelleher’s current role, largely warming the bench, might not be the best for his long-term aspirations, especially on the international stage. With Alisson Becker, widely regarded as one of the world’s best goalkeepers, ahead of him in the pecking order, Kelleher’s chances of regular first-team action at Anfield seem slim.
Kelleher’s limited club game time could also be affecting his international prospects. Ireland manager Stephen Kenny, as pointed out by McAteer, naturally leans towards players who are consistently active at the club level. While Kelleher is affiliated with one of the world’s top clubs and trains alongside an elite goalkeeper, the lack of regular match action might be hampering his progress.
A New Chapter?
McAteer suggests that for the sake of his career trajectory, both at the club and international levels, Kelleher might need to consider a move. A switch to another Premier League side, where he could potentially be the first choice, might not only boost his club career but also solidify his position in the Irish national team.