EM – Liverpool keeper Caoimhín Kelleher must not fall into the trap of Darren Randolph and let his career stagnate



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Today’s Premier League games for ‘Keeper and Nathan Collins are a boost for Ireland manager Stephen Kenny


Ireland’s goalkeeper Caoimhín Kelleher in action during the midweek international against Qatar. Photo: Sam Barnes / Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

In his less-than-outstanding playing career, he had started as a defender, so Jürgen Klopp was able to deal a few verbal tackles when the controversial international window closed and his Liverpoolers for the Premier League newly formed resumption.

The international week leaves Klopp unable to meet Curtis Jones (injured in the English U-21 service), Fabinho and Alisson (missing due to quarantine and travel regulations) for today’s early kick-off against a team from Watford who are getting used to the arrival of yet another manager in Claudio Ranieri.

“If the associations don’t start to help, they’ll have to think about the game again and not just about their own interests, ”he said, accepting the fact that his Brazilian couple cannot return to the UK just yet he will spend some time in Spain, before the Champions League game next week, and will be serving their quarantine there.

While Klopp lamented the effects of international football on his club, the national players offered him some help during the week . Caoimhín Kelleher made a solid 90 minutes in an Ireland shirt and steeled him for a Premier League appearance today. The Corkman replaces Alisson, who, due to his activity for Brazil, is in Madrid on Thursday evening and not in Hertfordshire.

When Klopp turned on the easy win for Ireland on Tuesday at home against Qatar and looked for evidence of Kelleher’s ability to target elite To play at a level he would have been disappointed, as the away team was so tame in attack; Kelleher had nothing to do. Klopp looks for signs of Kelleher’s skill on the training ground, the Corkman’s occasional stints for Liverpool and his setting.

The club’s decision to sign a long-term contract with Kelleher and the player’s decision to sign it suggests mutual trust, but Kelleher must also deliver in the game. With the door to Liverpool first team now open thanks to Alisson’s travel issues related to the World Cup, Kelleher will be asked a bigger question today – whether he will make the most of the chance given him.

The fact is that no matter how well Kelleher plays against Ranieri today, Alisson will be back for the European game in Spain and next weekend’s game against Manchester United. Keeping Watford goalless isn’t going to keep Alisson out of the way.

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Kelleher’s appearances in the Premier League have been mixed so far. He made a comfortable league debut, a practical 4-0 win over Wolves, but found his second time more Test in the Premier League than Brighton won 1-0 at Anfield last February. The reality of life as second fiddle to a maestro like Alisson will be his deputy as soon as the No. 1 is available.

Kelleher said earlier this week that he was determined to establish himself as the goalkeeper of choice at club and country, and with club he means Liverpool. Gavin Bazunu takes the same approach. The problem for the Irish boys is the age of the men in front of them. Alisson (29) and Ederson (28) won’t be going anywhere for at least the next half decade.

Kelleher has proven to be more reliable as a backup for Alisson than his predecessor, Spanish keeper Adrian. His fate and place in the pecking order were sealed when he leaked nine goals in two games around this time last year.

Cork lad Kelleher has shown that he is better than Adrian, not as good as Alisson, but that next phase of his career is crucial. At 22, Kelleher is in no hurry to leave Anfield, where, as he said last week in Dublin, he is being tested daily in training by the best players in the world.

When Kelleher is 25 years old and is still a backup, his career goes into stagnation. He has to look at the example of his compatriot Darren Randolph, whose move from Middlesbrough (where he was based) to West Ham (as cover) was financially lucrative but disastrous in Ireland being.

If Manchester City decides that Ederson Cannot be dropped but Bazunu thinks too expensive they will sell him, likely for a record fee for an Irish player.

Games like Watford away today won’t convince Klopp that Kelleher is better than Alisson, but they are an opportunity to impress clubs that may be looking for a goalkeeper in the next 18 to 24 months. So Kelleher can’t stall at Watford Gap today.

His mere presence in the starting XI in a Premier League game in a season when only one Irishman starts in this league on most weekends is a consolation for his international trainer.

After eating porridge, Kenny is slowly getting food. Now he has Nathan Collins as a defensive option in the mix, a player who should start for the Clarets at champions Manchester City today.

“To play against the big guys, I play soccer. I want to play against the best, compete against the best and be the best. These are the stages I want to play on, “said Collins.




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