Another game, another massively impressive Caoimhín Kelleher performance.
Every time the Cork native is given the chance to play for Liverpool, he more than delivers. That was once again the case last night, putting in an incredibly assured display as Jurgen Klopp's side booked their place in the Carabao Cup final after a 2-0 win over Arsenal at The Emirates.
Kelleher was exemplary both on and off the ball. He just exudes confidence with the ball at his feet, while this save with the score at 0-0 early in the contest one of the best you will see all season.
Caoimhín Kelleher's first-half save. Top class 👋pic.twitter.com/vAOAKdK5bk
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) January 20, 2022
The Irishman has made remarkable progress over the last couple of years and now seems ready to be playing much more regularly. Unfortunately for him, he finds himself behind Alisson Becker and Gavin Bazunu at club and international level respectively.
Despite the calls from some quarters for Kelleher to seek a loan move from Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp believes that he is at the perfect place for this particular stage of his career.
Speaking this morning, the German said that he is hugely impressed with his young goalkeeper.
🗣 "He is number two at Liverpool, I don't think he can really be much higher in the age he is."
Jurgen Klopp speaks very highly of Liverpool's number two goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher pic.twitter.com/0Bpu9d0lYr
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 21, 2022
He is the number two at Liverpool, I don't think he could be rated much higher at the age he is. We are more than happy with him, absolutely.
This was a John Achterberg (Liverpool goalkeeping coach) project. There were a lot of steps to go since I arrived here and saw him for the first time, a skinny boy from Ireland standing in this big goal. It was like 'okay, this could take a while'.
Since then he has made incredible steps and now he is a top class goalie, definitely. He is calm like you cannot believe, good with the ball, and on top of that makes incredible saves.
He enjoys the work John [Achterberg], Jack [Robinson], [Claudio] Taffarel (Liverpool goalkeeping coaches), and the other goalies. What can you do better at this age than to learn from the best goalie in the world? All these kinds of things are really good for him and we are more than happy to have him.
Kelleher will act as Liverpool's number two for the rest of the season, and while Klopp will no doubt be keen to have him in his first team squad going forward, it will be interesting to see if the player himself will want to test himself by featuring week in and week out.
He certainly seems more than ready to perform in the Premier League and for Ireland.
In saying that, as a goalkeeper he still has time on his side. At the same age, Alisson Becker was still playing in Brazil. He would not even become first choice goalkeeper at Roma until he was 25.
Kelleher being a genuine number two at such a club at this stage of his career is no easy task. How long he will be happy in filling that role is the only question.