Sky Sports commentator Rob Palmer has given his thoughts on Caoimhin Kelleher, who is valued at £2.25 million (as per Transfermarkt), and his future at Liverpool.
The 23-year-old, who as backup goalkeeper, has only managed to make 17 appearances for the Reds over the years, was always going to have a hard time making it into the Liverpool first team given the stronghold that Alisson, who was voted the world’s best goalkeeper in 2019, has on the role.
As a result, Kelleher has been limited predominantly to cup competitions, but he has managed to make a breakthrough recently, with Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp suitably impressed enough to trust him to start their recent Carabao Cup final victory – a stark contrast to their opponents Chelsea, who decided to start with their first-choice in Edouard Mendy rather than cup goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who had started all their games on the road to the final.
That decision may very well have laid the groundwork for something bigger coming down the road.
Speaking on the latest episode of The Red Agenda podcast as part of a discussion about the succession plan at Liverpool and how they have a group of younger players ready to replace some of the veterans within the squad in the coming years, Palmer hinted that there was a real chance the Irishman could become the No 1 goalkeeper at the club in the not too distant future.
He said: “I’ve said several times I think [Kelleher] will be the Liverpool No 1 goalkeeper within the next 18 months. I think Allison is a world-class goalkeeper; I think Kelleher has the potential to be better than him.”
TIF Thoughts on Rob Palmer and his comments on Caoimhin Kelleher at Liverpool…
Will Kelleher replace Alisson within the next 18 months?
It certainly is a bold claim for Palmer to make and suggest that Kelleher could become better than Alisson, who signed for a whopping £67m. The Brazilian is someone who has been recognised as one of the world’s best in the past and who has been continuing to show that off this season, as he currently ranks fifth in the league for save percentage with 73.5% and leads the league in clean sheet percentage with 56% (via FBRef).
But whilst it’s good for Kelleher to be getting this recognition based off the odd game here or there, the next challenge should be to see if he is up to the task of being a No 1 somewhere.
That’s why it is imperative that Liverpool sort out a loan for him to a Premier League side this summer so that he can get used to playing that role on a regular basis.
If he can come through that loan spell unscathed and gain some regular minutes under his belt, it might force Klopp into a decision, because with Alisson’s contract not up until 2027, it’s not as if he’s in a position where he’s ready to be moved on just yet.