New report reveals what Jurgen Klopp thinks of Liverpool's Irish goalkeeper
Life is good for Caoimhin Kelleher.
The Cork native is continuing to turn heads at Liverpool. The 19-year-old attracted praise from Jurgen Klopp after an impressive showing during the Reds' pre-season tour of America and has now been bumped up to third-choice goalkeeper following the departure of Loris Karius.
With Karius set to join Besiktas, Kelleher will be promoted to the Liverpool first-team behind Alisson and Simon Mignolet.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Klopp has been 'blown away' by the speed with which Kelleher has taken to rubbing shoulders with the senior set-up. Kelleher was not involved with the U23 side on Friday night but warmed up Alisson and Mignolet ahead of Liverpool's win over Brighton on Saturday evening.
Following Liverpool's pre-season friendly win over Napoli in Dublin, Klopp said of the former Ringmahon Rangers man: "A very cool boy, very cool with the ball, we saw that in a pre-season game that he played."
"In front of 100,000 or 60,000, he's not really bothered about that. That's a very important skill. He was an outfield player in his youth. He's been a goalkeeper for a few years, but he must have been a very good outfield player as well. He has fantastic reactions.
"If nothing serious happens, he has a really fantastic future. I don't know at the moment how many really good goalkeepers Ireland have, but one more isn't a bad thing. I like him a lot and happy to have him in our squad."
Irish goalie Caoimhin Kelleher got a mention too https://t.co/X3CYGc40Pe
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) August 25, 2018
This is great for Kelleher. The Republic of Ireland youth international will have the opportunity to act as Alisson's understudy and learn from one of the world's finest goalkeepers.
Although Mignolet is Klopp's second-choice, should Kelleher continue to impress, the Irishman may be handed a start in one of the cup competitions this season, especially in view of the Belgian's recent comments about his place in the pecking order.
"This doesn’t change anything," Mignolet said via HLN, as highlighted by Belgian reporter Kristof Terreur on Twitter. "I made it clear that I want to play regularly and being nr 2 doesn’t change that."
"There haven’t been talks with
#LFC. I don’t know what my future holds."
Simon Mignolet on his ‘promotion’:
🗣”This doesn’t change anything. I made it clear that I want to play regularly and being nr 2 doesn’t change that”
🗣”There haven’t been talks with #LFC. I don’t know what my future holds”https://t.co/4kIKFWHWkx
— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) August 26, 2018
Mignolet's apparent displeasure at the prospect of playing second-fiddle to Alisson may play into Kelleher's hands.