In Alisson Becker, Liverpool have arguably the best goalkeeper in football, and given the way players at the position both tend to peak later and maintain their best for longer, the expectation is the 30-year-old will be between the sticks for the Reds for the foreseeable future.
The only problem is that in 24-year-old Caoimhin Kelleher, Liverpool have a backup who would start for many Premier League sides and might even be good enough to start for one targeting titles and trophies. According to his national team manager, that’s not a situation that can continue.
“It looks like he’ll be on the move this summer,” Stephen Kenny said this week. “He needs to play. He’s been starved of games this season, it’s been a problem for him. It’s hard to leave Liverpool, it’s such an iconic club, but he’s not so young now. He’s 24, he needs to play and he knows that.
“He knew that earlier this season and I think he’s been in dialogue with Liverpool about that for a long time. It’s most likely it’ll happen. He’s at the stage where he’s behind one of the best goalkeepers in the world. You can’t improve by not playing. He knows that. He’s known that for a while.”
Kelleher has had enough game time over the years with Liverpool to suggest he would be a more than capable number one somewhere, and he backstopped the Reds to glory in the League Cup in 2021-22, but early cup exits this year meant a drop in minutes compared to past seasons.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp recently suggested a departure for Kelleher isn’t a sure thing unless an “extraordinary offer” arrives, but in the circumstance is seems likely that was no more than Liverpool setting out that they won’t be forced into a cut-rate sale of the talented stopper.
“I think he’s ready to go and play regularly, because he needs to,” Kenny added. “The previous season was a great success for him, winning the League Cup, playing in the cup competitions. Then they were knocked out early this year and there was not so much football for him.”