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Shay Given Advises Caoimhín Kelleher To Seek Liverpool Exit This Month

Shay Given Advises Caoimhín Kelleher To Seek Liverpool Exit This Month
By Gary Connaughton
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Ireland have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to goalkeepers at the minute.

Gavin Bazunu has been superb since coming into Stephen Kenny's starting XI, while Mark Travers has been starring for Championship leaders Bournemouth in recent seasons.

Then you have Caoimhín Kelleher. The 23-year old finds himself filling the backup role at both club and international level at the moment, elevating himself to number two at Liverpool over the last couple of seasons. He has shown incredible potential in the limited appearances he has made for both Ireland and Jurgen Klopp's side.

He now finds himself in somewhat of an awkward spot. He may need to play more regular football if he is to usurp Bazunu and become Ireland's first choice, although there is also a case to stick with the level of coaching and his standards he is being exposed to at Liverpool.

The player may have to make a decision on his future soon.


Speaking on Premier Sport ahead of Liverpool's FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury Town, Shay Given said he felt that Kelleher should seek a loan move from Liverpool as soon as possible in order to further his career.

He's in a bit of a predicament Kelleher.

He's 23-years old, I'm trying to bring myself back to when I was that age and I'm not sure how many games I would have played, but I think he has only played ten or 11 games.

He's not a kid anymore, 23 is an age where I think he should be playing regular first team football.

The biggest problem he has is that Alisson is ahead of him. Alisson is in the prime of his life and could be for the next five or six years. Does Kelleher sit there and be happy as a number two? They've got Adrian who can sit on the bench and back [Alisson] up.

For me, it's so important to play games. He has been training there for a few years and signed a new five-year contract last summer, so he is part of the club's long-term future.

Even from a Liverpool point of view, they need to get him out playing, get him that experience, then bring him back and get him challenging Alisson.

If it was me, I'd be knocking Klopp's door down, I really would. I'd be saying that I need to go out on loan, go and play. January is a time to do that, I'd be on to my agent and manager to get me playing games.

It's not just at Liverpool, he's got Bazunu at Ireland as well. He is only 19-years old and has played 50 club games, Kelleher has played around ten...

I think for all parties concerned the best thing would be to go on loan. I think he's good enough to play in the first team, he's a really good goalkeeper. I think he wants to show people that.

The Cork man hasn't put a foot wrong whenever called upon by Jurgen Klopp, although it is difficult to see him getting consistent playing time at Anfield in the short-term considering the calibre of Alisson. The issue is that Liverpool may not be willing to loan out their most reliable replacement for the Brazilian.


As for the Ireland position, that is a debate that is sure to rage for years to come.

Given said that while both Bazunu and Kelleher are top quality players, the former Shamrock Rovers man deserves his spot as number one for the moment due to the amount of games he has played.

The country is absolutely blessed with goalkeepers we've got at the minute. If we had that in every other position we would be buzzing.

Going back to Gavin, he is control at the minute. He has got the jersey and rightly so because he has been playing absolutely brilliant for Ireland and for Portsmouth. I was looking at it this morning, he has played 50 club games and is only 19-years of age.

When you look at Kelleher, it's ten or 11 games at 23. He's four years older.

I always felt that every game I missed, I could never get that back. It's a short career, it goes in a flash. Kelleher will want to play, I'm sure he will.

It will be interesting to see what direction Kelleher opts to go in in the short-term.

SEE ALSO: Roy Keane Sums Up The Madness Of Jack Butland's FA Cup Horror Show

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