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29th Jun 2024

St Pat’s cut ties with £1.8 million-rated Liverpool ‘keeper after disappointing loan spell

Ronan Calvert


A pity.

St Patrick’s Athletic have decided to cancel the loan contract of Liverpool goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga.

Pitaluga, who was meant to spend the full season at Inchicore, made just six appearances for the Saints in all competitions.

There were high hopes for the signing, especially as another Liverpool loanee, Vítězslav Jaroš, proved a huge success between the sticks two seasons ago.

Pitaluga wasn’t to be so successful, however.

A rocky start, which saw the Brazilian underperform in a 3-1 defeat to Waterford, forced then Pat’s manager Jon Daly into dropping him for the experienced Danny Rogers.

“Marcelo started the season, he’s not started to the levels he’d have hoped,” explained Daly back in in March.

“He’s opening the door for Danny. Now it’s up to Danny to make sure he stays in the team. He has done enough to stay in the team.”

Daly was later sacked by the club, partially because of his poor recruitment, to be replaced by ex-Ireland manager Stephen Kenny.

Some thought Kenny might help revive Pitaluga’s League of Ireland career, but he only used him once in a Leinster Senior Cup fixture, favouring Rogers for a period before negotiating a deal with West Ham’s Joseph Anang.

Then, last night, Kenny announced that Pitaluga’s loan spell had been terminated:

“There has been transformational change anyway here in the off-season,” said Kenny.

“There was a high number of signings and three have gone back this week – Kieran to Scotland, we said goodbye too to Marcelo, a great guy and a good career ahead of him I think, and Alfie is gone back to Hull.

“Joe Anang trains from Monday and I’m hopeful of having one in next week, but we’ll have to see.”

Pitaluga joined Liverpool from Fluminense in 2020 for a fee in the region of £2 million.

Liverpool’s Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker was full of praise after Pitaluga featured on the Reds’ bench for the first time, describing him as “special”.

“Marcelo is really talented,” Alisson told Liverpool’s website. “I saw him a few times back in Brazil, but I could know more about him here as a goalie and as a person as well.

“He is a really special boy, he is really excited about having the opportunity to play for Liverpool.

“Now he has settled in and is doing really well in training.

“He is a boy who trains really hard and is really dedicated for what he is doing. And someone who likes to learn as well.

“So it is really good to work together with him, not only for being Brazilian but for being a really good talent and such a good person.”

Here’s hoping the lad can overcome this speedbump to live up to his potential elsewhere.

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