LIVERPOOL manager Jürgen Klopp has again heaped praise on Cork native Caoimhín Kelleher as he insisted the young goalkeeper has an exciting future ahead of him.
The former Ringmahon Rangers shot-stopper was named on the bench for the Reds’ Champions League triumph against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid at the beginning of June which saw him qualify for a medal.
Klopp is known to be an admirer of Kelleher’s ability, and speaking ahead of the club’s Premier League opener against Norwich City at Anfield on Friday night, the Pool boss again spoke highly about his third-choice keeper.
The frustrating aspect of the injury for Kelleher is that Alisson was forced off against Norwich in the 4-1 win on Friday night, with Adrian replacing him. If the Leesider was fit and firing, he'd likely have stepped in as Adrian's back-up in the coming weeks.
“I could say a lot about him but it’s not so important if you ask the players then they all like Caoimhín,” said Klopp.
“If you are number three [goalkeeper] in a big club and you have any situation in training where you have five or six men to rely on you, they are really happy with Caoimhín’s performances.
“He is a really big talent and he has all the time in the world. The good thing is that good goalkeepers can play, I don’t know, until 40-something so there is a lot to come from him and it will be exciting.”
The 20-year-old is currently sidelined with a broken wrist which he suffered on his holiday’s following his involvement with Liverpool and then the Republic of Ireland U21s’ run to the semi-finals of the Toulon tournament.
It meant that not only did Kelleher miss the chance to join the Merseyside giants’ pre-season tour of the US, but it also ruled him out of any potential loan move to another club.
Klopp confirmed that Kelleher has returned to training but he may still be another couple of weeks away from returning to competitive action with Liverpool’s underage or first-team squads.
“He has started training again but it took a while for him to be back on the training pitch,” added the German.
“I don’t know 100% how it is. It looks fine, but if he can catch balls yet I haven’t asked yet.
“There is no pressure on it but he’s not able to play for a couple of days or a couple of week’s maybe I don’t know.
“It was always the plan to keep him but if somebody had come around the corner then we would have thought about it.
“But that was then done with the injury but we are completely happy with Caoimhín we see a big future for him to be honest. So it’s all about the boy but now he has to become fit and everything will be fine.”