Liverpool fans have not had the best of weeks but may finally have reasons to be optimistic following the call-up of 19-year-old goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher to Ireland’s senior national team.
A regular for the club’s under 23s, he is highly rated by many coaches and he joined the first team for much of pre-season acting as deputy for Loris Karius until Simon Mignolet returned and Alisson Becker signed for the club.
Having eight caps at under 19 level for Ireland, Kelleher has twice been called up by the under 21s but never made it off the bench and will now get his first taste of senior international action.
Kelleher has joined the squad for training in the past and was watched by assistant manager Roy Keane recently, but few expected this step to come quite as quickly as it has.
The next step in his development may well be to become more involved with the first team on Merseyside, which could come sooner rather than later if Simon Mignolet opts to force an exit in the hunt for regular action.
Following a string of unconvincing goalkeepers and with Alisson now in between the sticks, it seems that the future may at last be bright for shotstoppers at Anfield.