Caoimhin Kelleher put on a phenomenal goalkeeping display in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup win over Derby County.
The Cork native saved three penalties to send his side into the fourth round of the English Football League Cup. Yet games like this have been few and far between for the Irishmen, as this was his first appearance for Liverpool this season.
This lack of game time has put him firmly behind Gavin Bazunu as Stephen Kenny’s first-choice shot-stopper.
Former Feyenoord and Republic of Ireland striker and the Irish Independent’s Dan McDonnell were live on Football Saturday with Shane Hannon, and they had their say on whether the twenty three year old should move on from Anfield.
‘It's crazy!’ said McDonnell. ‘I mean, it's great for him because he had that injury. He missed the start of the season, and when Liverpool qualified for the Champions League, you're thinking he is going to get a game here. He didn't, but he has only one chance to impress, and he's taken it.’
‘Kelleher was one of the players who did the press conference for Ireland during the summer, and it was the first time he really spoke as though he was thinking about moving. The first time he really said we will have to see what happens this summer.’
‘Then he had an injury in preseason. Then you kind of wonder would that have had any impact on where he is stored now? Klopp clearly loves him, and they want him around. But there is going to come a point in his development where he needs to play more regularly.’
When asked whether Kelleher should move away from Merseyside, Connolly was adamant that a move away would be a wise decision if Kelleher were to develop.
‘Gavin Bazunu went out on loan, and he caught the eyes of a club, and then he got that move to a Premier League club as a number one. Would he have gotten that move if he had stayed at Manchester City? Probably not.’
‘Caoimhin has made that call to not go out on loan. I think there does come a point when he should move on, and he is at that point. It might be January when he might look to get out and go and play somewhere. You know, and I don't think it matters necessarily the level because it is a Premier League club.’
‘If you're staff at a Premier League club, any of these clubs like that, their recruitment, they know every player from 14 to about 20 odd in all of these Premier League clubs, and they will know whether they are worth 5 million or 10 million. ‘
‘They'll know about Caoihmin, and it's just whether it comes up that opportunity because I think then he is on an even playing field with Mark Travers and Gavin Bazunu, you know, in terms of being that number one, but I think while he's on the periphery, at Liverpool and playing in the odd cup came, I think it's challenging for him to ever be ahead of those two.’
‘Kelleher is twenty four later this month. He has never had a full men’s season. And that is so unusual because generally, under twenty three is the cut-off for many players who aren’t making it at a club, and then they get released, or they go on loan. He hasn't done that. So I can't think of too many examples off the top of my head of someone his age who probably would have played that little yet is clearly operate able to operate at an extremely high level.’
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