Monday 19 August 2019

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp offers a huge incentive to Ireland's Caoimhin Kelleher as he closes in on a return to action

Caoimhin Kelleher (right) celebrating Liverpool’s Champions League win with team-mates Simon Mignolet and Alisson in June. Photo: Getty
Caoimhin Kelleher (right) celebrating Liverpool’s Champions League win with team-mates Simon Mignolet and Alisson in June. Photo: Getty
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has given a strong hint that he sees Irishman Caoimhin Kelleher as his second choice goal keeper, after it was confirmed Alisson Becker faces a spell on the sidelines with a calf injury.

Becker is set to miss the rest of August with the injury he sustained against Norwich last Friday, with new arrival Adrian set to take on the role of first choice in Wednesday night's UEFA Super Cup game against Chelsea in Istanbul.

Yet while Andy Lonergan is set to join Liverpool to plug the gap in their keeper line-up, Klopp has offered warm words of support for 20-year-old Kelleher, as he closes in on a return to action after a wrist problem sustained during pre-season.

"At the moment when Caoimhin is back then obviously Adrian is No.1, Caoimhin probably No.2 but we have to see how then he can have some games with the U23s or U21s so that he gets match practice as well," Klopp told the Liverpool website.

"The situation was even more difficult a few weeks ago because of injuries, but Caoimhin Kelleher is now in his final steps for being completely back.

"He's training only five days or so, catching balls and all that stuff, it looks all good but of course we have to find a solution in the short term and that will be, if nothing happens from now to then, Andy Lonergan.

"He was in with us, he's a brilliant character, a really nice lad and helped us a lot in the pre-season and now we decided to work together with him.

"We have to see how that works but that’s then how we cover that situation."

Klopp went on to admit the injury to Alisson was a blow to his side's hopes, in a month when they will face crucial Premier League game against Southampton, Arsenal and Burnley, as well as the game against Chelsea in Turkey this week.

"Not too cool. It’s a calf injury which takes him obviously out for a while," added Klopp of Alisson's injury.

"I don't want to make now exact prognosis on when he will be back but it will not be Wednesday for sure, so now then we have to see. It takes a while, it takes a couple weeks for sure, and we have to see.

'I saw already like 'six weeks' and stuff like this, but Ali was not a lot injured in his career so I would like to wait a little bit to see how he develops in that process now, but he is not in for the next few weeks."

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