International boss says Liverpool 22-year-old is 'exceptional', Klopp could start him v Leeds
Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is an “exceptional” goalkeeper, according to Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny.
The 22-year-old Reds ace has enjoyed a swift rise to the upper echelons of the game in the past year.
Alisson Becker spent some time on the sidelines last season, and Jurgen Klopp initially replaced the Brazilian with Adrian.
However, later on in the season, the Liverpool boss gave Kelleher a chance ahead of Adrian.
The Irishman made five first-team appearances and featured in both the Premier League and Champions League last season.
Kelleher is now Liverpool’s second-choice stopper, having made the bench in all three league games this term.
And Alisson – who wasn’t allowed to link up with Brazil this month – will likely be suspended for Sunday’s league trip to Leeds.
The Brazilian FA invoked a FIFA rule that bans players from playing with their clubs if they have not been released for international duty.
The Irish Independent reports that Kelleher is sure to start for Liverpool at Elland Road in Alisson’s place.
“It’s a tight decision”
At international level, Kelleher is vying with Manchester City loanee Gavin Bazunu for the Irish gloves.
“It’s a tight decision. I regard Caoimhin Kelleher so highly as he’s an exceptional goalkeeper but it’s just that he’s not playing,” Kenny told the Irish Mirror.
“(Bazunu) kept us in it and had a tremendous game (against Serbia). I couldn’t have predicted how well Gavin would do.
“I knew Gavin was very good and had special qualities as a man. That struck me, his characteristics that were unique and special as a human being.”