Liverpool Eyeing Move for Sunderland Goalkeeper

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Liverpool’s Goalkeeper Dilemma: Sunderland Keeper on their List

Liverpool’s back-up goalkeeper, Caoimhin Kelleher, is enjoying a sensational season in between the sticks. As good as he has been, it has only added further fuel to the speculation regarding the Irishman’s future on Merseyside. Clubs like Celtic, Brentford and Nottingham Forest have all been linked with a £20million move for the young keeper, although Liverpool would likely rather keep hold of the Irishman.

However, if Kelleher was to push for a move then Liverpool wouldn’t stand in his way should a decent offer come in. Therefore, a back-up goalkeeper could be pretty high on the Reds’ priorities in the summer transfer window.

Recent reports have suggested that Sunderland’s number one, Anthony Patterson, could make a surprise switch to Anfield in the summer. Many of you will be wondering who he is and why Liverpool are interested in him – so let’s take a look.

Photo: IMAGO

Who is Anthony Patterson?

Anthony Patterson is 23-year-old goalkeeper for Sunderland, currently playing in the EFL Championship. Despite his young age, Patterson has already made 119 senior appearances for the Black Cats and has certainly become one of their most valuable prospects.

The youngster played a pivotal role in Sunderland’s promotion from EFL League One back in 2022 and was hugely important in their hugely successful season last year, which saw them reach the Play-Offs and almost secure back-to-back promotions.

The 2023/24 season has actually been a slightly disappointing season for both Patterson and Sunderland, but there has been a lot of issues behind the scenes that have put a negative spin on a lot of results and performances. Nevertheless, Patterson is still one of the most talented young keepers in the country and could go on to be a brilliant player in the future.

Sunderland’s Successful Academy

Many will remember Liverpool signing Jordan Henderson back in 2011, who had also graduated from the Sunderland Academy. In recent years, Sunderland’s academy has produced a number of really talented players, with Liverpool linked with a number of them.

16-year-old Chris Rigg is the pick of the bunch, but Patterson and midfielder Dan Neil have also both been linked with a move to Anfield. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Liverpool go for one of these players and should Kelleher leave, then Patterson would make a lot of sense.

Liverpool would not only get a really talented goalkeeper with a high potential ceiling, but he would also contribute to the English quota needed for the Premier League squad.

Crunching the Numbers

With that being said, let’s take a closer look at the numbers behind Patterson’s performances for Sunderland. First of all, Patterson has conceded 141 goals in his 119 senior appearances, but has often played with a pretty woeful defence in front of him. That averages out at about 1.19 goals conceded per game, but the quality of side does play a huge part.

Patterson has still managed 35 clean sheets across those 119 games, including 11 in 41 games for Sunderland so far this season. Last season, the 23-year-old kept 14 clean sheets in 46 games and was tipped by many as a candidate for goalkeeper of the season.

As you can see from the chart above, Patterson would suit Liverpool’s play style on terms of passing out from the back. Both of Sunderland’s most regular defenders, in Daniel Ballard and Luke O’Nien, are pretty comfortable on the ball and look to play out from the back in a similar way.

Other than his short build up play though, Patterson struggles pretty heavily with his distribution and does have the odd bad mistake in him. But these things are completely normal for such a young goalkeeper and I have no doubt that Liverpool’s impressive goalkeeping department could build Patterson into an impressive keeper.

One key similarity between Patterson and Kelleher is there impressive penalty save records, with both ranking incredibly high in that aspect. Overall, Patterson is pretty impressive as a shot-stopper but one comparison that Liverpool fans won’t like too much is the Sunderland fans’ constant comparison between Patterson and current Everton keeper, Jordan Pickford!

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