Date: 31st May 2021 at 12:50pm
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Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has challenged Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher to go and play regular first-team football as he looks to pick his successor to .

Kelleher has been at Liverpool since he joined from Ringmahon Rangers in the summer of 2015, and made his Premier League and Champions League debuts for Jurgen Klopp’s side during the 2020/21 season, as his importance seems to grow each year on Merseyside.

However, with Kelleher playing understudy to arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Alisson, Republic of Ireland boss Kenny has suggested the 22-year-old goes out to play football regularly in order to fulfil his potential.

Speaking in his press conference ahead of Ireland’s fixtures against Andorra and Hungary on Thursday, Kenny had this to say on Kelleher:

“Caoimhin got some games at Liverpool – but it’s very, very hard to play at Liverpool because you’ve got one of the top goalkeepers in the world, Alisson, playing ahead of him and it is difficult.

“Ideally, you’d want Caoimhin to go and play regular games because he’s probably potentially one of the best goalkeepers that we’ve had, and yet we won’t know that unless he continually plays games, so that’s interesting.”

TIF Thoughts on Caoimhin Kelleher’s future…

It’s hard not to agree with Kenny’s comments on the need for Kelleher to go out and play first-team football regularly. At 22 years old, he has a great chance to establish himself as Randolph’s successor as the ‘keeper enters the twilight years of his career.

For Kelleher, though, the only way for him to prove that he is good enough for the status as Ireland’s No.1 is perhaps to leave Liverpool – whether that be on a loan or a permanent deal is something that would need to be discussed.

With Alisson only 28, it seems like he is going to be donning the Liverpool N0.1 shirt for the foreseeable future, ultimately blocking Kelleher’s progression.