Football

Jurgen Klopps Names Irish Youngster In Reasons For Not Needing Joe Hart

Jurgen Klopps Names Irish Youngster In Reasons For Not Needing Joe Hart

Despite the recent form of Simon Mignolet, who has produced big saves in Liverpool's narrow wins over Stoke City and West Brom, most fans of the club are reacting with unease to Jurgen Klopp's insistence that goalkeeper is not a priority position in the upcoming summer transfer market.

The struggles of Loris Karius and Mignolet have been well publicised this season thus fueling speculation that Liverpool may look to make another signing, with Joe Hart's name being regularly thrown into the discussion as it's clear that his future does not lie with wither Man City or Torino.

But the German is adamant that what he has is good enough, not only in terms of first-team goalkeepers, but also in the talent coming through. At his pre-match press conference before Liverpool take on Crystal Palace, Klopp mentioned Irish 18-year-old Caoimhin Kelleher as someone that is progressing and making an impression on the former Dortmund boss.

Extra competition? You ask about goalkeepers but even though you don't say the name is it about Joe Hart?

We don't usually talk about these sort of things but in this particular case I think we can. He is a fantastic goalkeeper, the goalkeeper of the English national team, the highest quality, but we have highest-quality goalkeepers. It is not for us in this moment and hopefully not for us in the future - not because of Joe but we already have two strong goalkeepers.

Wardy (Danny Ward) is at Huddersfield and playing a brilliant season - he is our player so we will bring him back next year so there is competition.

The young ones have made really big steps, Caiomhin (Kelleher) and Kamil (Grabara), and that is really good. The situation with our goalkeepers is really good. I understand the question but I cannot give the answer probably a few people want.

It's encouraging to hear, although Kelleher still has a lot of work to do before we see him in the Liverpool first team.

It's no surprise that Klopp thinks highly of him, as the Cork man, along with fellow Irishmen Conor Masterson and Glen McAuley, has impressed for Liverpool's U18 side this season, even earning special praise for the "Irish spine" in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United back in March.

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Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher had another impressive display in goal, his capacity to deal with tricky low shots particualrly impressive.

Centre-back Masterson marshalled his troops well, especially with 10-men, and dealt with numerous crosses that landed in his box.

And at centre forward, Glen McAuley.

His sixteenth goal of the season had given Liverpool the lead and he worked his socks off as a lone front man after the red card.

He understood the value of fighting to win his side a free kick to relieve the pressure and left everything he had on the pitch.

You wouldn’t bet against any of the three pulling on a green shirt some day.

We would all like to see a greater Irish influence at the bigger clubs in England, and while it would be silly to get carried away, it's encouraging to see them make a mark in the youth setup.

With Klopp giving the likes of Ben Woodburn a chance in the cup competitions this season, hopefully Kelleher will be given a chance to impress sooner rather than later.

[via EveningEcho.ie]

Mikey Traynor

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