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Kelleher should bide his time as Alisson back up


Caoimhín Kelleher celebrates victory with manager Jurgen Klopp

Caoimhín Kelleher celebrates victory with manager Jurgen Klopp

Caoimhín Kelleher celebrates victory with manager Jurgen Klopp

I was at the Liverpool-Manchester City game in the U23 Premier League last Saturday, when Caoimhín Kelleher didn't have the best of days: Liverpool were beaten 7-2 by City, in an empty training ground.

So it was amazing to see him not only play, but play well and keep a clean sheet in the Champions League three days later. There was a lot of pressure on him and, to his credit, he rose to the occasion. It's a huge boost for him to get to play in such an important game.

I remember what a thrill it was for me to make my Premier League debut at 17. You don't believe it's happening for you and I am sure Caoimhín had that sort of feeling on the night, yet came away with a huge smile on his face.

He has to be very happy to be number two 'keeper at a club like Liverpool, but the next stage of his development is also key. There is no point going out on loan to a Championship or a League One club for a while, just to get games. He should be aiming for a loan spell at another Premier League side, like Dean Henderson has done. The move into first team football takes that bit longer for goalkeepers and he has to be patient, while also being proud of what he has done this week. If he has the trust of Jurgen Klopp that he's good enough to play for Liverpool's first team in the Champions League, then he should be good enough to play for other Premier League teams and that should be his aim.

He might play this weekend, depending on Alisson's fitness, he could get a game in the Champions League next week as Liverpool have already qualified and he should also have some FA Cup and League Cup games to come, so he could get around 10 appearances, which would be huge.

If I was him I'd be hugely encouraged by what Jurgen Klopp said after the Ajax win, that he picked Kelleher because he was comfortable in possession, that he could pass the ball.

There's no rush for Kelleher now, He should stay at Liverpool, learn what he can there, fill in for Alisson when needed and then show next season just what he is about.