Liverpool boss Klopp full of praise for Cork keeper Kelleher

Liverpool boss Klopp full of praise for Cork keeper Kelleher
Caoimhin Kelleher of Liverpool warms up prior. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

JURGEN Klopp has described Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher as an outstanding talent and believes he has a bright future ahead of him.

The Cork native was an unused substitute as Liverpool defeated Napoli 5-0 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening in the penultimate game of their pre-season tour.

But the 19-year-old did play his part in friendly victories over Manchester City and Manchester United during the America leg of their tour with the latter being played in front of a crowd of over 100,000 spectators.

“He is an outstanding talent, outstanding,” enthused Klopp when asked by the Evening Echo for his thoughts on the keeper.

“He is very good, he is very good with the ball which we saw in pre-season game that he played in front of 100,000 and another game with 60,000 and he wasn’t really bothered about that and it is a very important skill.” 

Kelleher started his footballing career with Ringmahon Rangers in the Cork Schoolboys League and was usually found playing outfield until he eventually decided to play in goal at the age of 14.

“He was long in his youth as an outfield player and he has already been a few years as a goalkeeper but he must have been a very good outfield player as well because he’s very good at that,” added the German.

“He has fantastic reactions and if nothing serious happens he really has a fantastic future.

“I don’t know in this moment how many really good goalkeepers Ireland has but one more is never a big mistake.

“So I like him a lot and I am happy that we have him in our squad.” 

Kelleher faces an uphill task if he is to gain some minutes in the first team this season but he should feature heavily with the U23 squad as well as training with the seniors at Melwood.

The game with Napoli also saw goalkeeper Alisson Becker make his eagerly anticipated debut following his world record transfer from Roma.

“After all that was written about him, making his debut against Napoli - who were the best team we have played in pre-season so far, they had nearly their full squad - but he was very aware in all situations and he was immediately off his line,” added Klopp.

“We involved him a lot in our build-up but we need to get used to that a little more, and he needs to get used to it a little more, but there were a lot of good build-up situations. But I was really pleased.”

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