Kelleher, Liverpool’s second-choice goalkeeper behind Alisson Becker, made some important stops in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea on Sunday. He put the cherry on top by converting the Reds’ 11th spot-kick, which turned out to be the winner after Chelsea’s substitute keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga skied his effort.
Kelleher’s heroics allowed Jurgen Klopp to celebrate his first-ever English domestic cup triumph, and the German has claimed that Liverpool have no intention of selling their Wembley hero.
“For young goalkeepers it’s of course about development, and Caoimh developed here incredibly well. There’s absolutely no intention to sell him or something like that or give him a loan. Not at all. We need a strong number two. Winning a trophy, will that help [keep him]? You’ll have to ask Caoimh that.”
The 23-year-old Irishman, who recently signed a four-year contract, currently plays second fiddle to Gavin Bazunu in national colors. A loan move, which guarantees regular football, might increase Kelleher’s chances of dethroning Bazunu in Ireland's goal.
Klopp has revealed that the Merseysiders have “long-term plans” for Kelleher, but wouldn’t deny the young keeper the chance to become the best version of himself.
The German tactician added:
“He has here a long-term contract and we have a long-term plan with him, but of course we want to help the boy as well become the best version of himself. That’s what we did so far and that’s what we will continue to do as well.”
Klopp has admitted that Kelleher’s fate hinges on the development of 19-year-old Brazilian shot-stopper Marcelo Pitaluga. He acknowledged that the Reds would not be able to let him leave if they became weaker.
“Maybe there is a year he will have to go on loan, I’m not sure it will be next year or maybe a year later. It depends a little bit on Marcelo (Pitaluga), he is already on a good way. We have to judge that situation. Adrian is still here and doing an incredible job. We will see. But you need the quality we have here and if we get weaker if he wants to go somewhere then we don’t have the chance to do that.”
The Liverpool academy graduate has featured in eight games in all competitions for the 19-time English champions this season, conceding seven goals and keeping four clean sheets.
Liverpool to take on Norwich City in FA Cup fifth round
Jurgen Klopp’s men would look to keep their quadruple hopes alive when they take on a struggling Norwich City side in the FA Cup on Wednesday.
The Reds, who won the Carabao Cup on Sunday, have been in scintillating form lately, winning their last 10 games across competitions.
Klopp is expected to make a plethora of changes following 120 minutes of end-to-end football on Sunday, but his side should still brush Norwich aside quite comfortably.
In their last meeting in the Premier League in February, the Merseysiders bagged an easy 3-1 win over the Canaries, with the underdogs rarely threatening Liverpool’s goal.
Given the gulf in quality between the two teams, we expect another thoroughly one-sided contest in the FA Cup tie at Anfield.