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'I can play at that level' - Caoimhín Kelleher signs new long-term deal at Liverpool

The 22-year-old Republic of Ireland international says he wants to keep pushing first-choice Alisson from next season.

Jurgen Klopp approaches Caoimhín Kelleher after the Cork man's impressive Champions League debut against Ajax.
Jurgen Klopp approaches Caoimhín Kelleher after the Cork man's impressive Champions League debut against Ajax.
Image: PA

CAOIMHÍN KELLEHER HAS capped a breakout season by committing his long-term future to Liverpool.

Kelleher’s season, which saw him make five first-team starts across both Champions League and Premier League, has seen the 22-year-old Cork man rewarded with a new deal at Anfield.

The former Ringmahon Rangers youngster also won his first cap for the Republic of Ireland earlier this month when he came on for Gavin Bazunu against Hungary in Budapest.

Speaking of his new contract, Kelleher said: “I am happy to get it over the line and finally done; it was in the pipeline for a few months with negotiations and stuff, so I am delighted to get it done.

“For me, it was a positive moment to commit my future to the club for the next few years. It’s such a big club and it’s an honour to be a part of it, so when I got the chance to sign for a few more years I was obviously delighted. I just want to keep my progress going at the club, really.

“It was a big year for me in terms of playing the first-team games this year and more important games; being thrown into the Champions League and Premier League games was big for my development and being able to handle that,” he added.

It gave me a lot of confidence to try to push on, to try to keep pushing Ali because I can play at that kind of level as well and do well. I am looking forward, try to keep pushing him and we’ll see what happens.

After a 2019/20 season in which he featured for Jurgen Klopp’s first team in three league cup outings, Kelleher earned more significant gametime a season later, beginning with a Champions League debut against Ajax at Anfield on which he impressed while keeping a clean sheet.

He also made his first Premier League start against Wolves five days later, again not conceding.

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Injury kept Kelleher sidelined for the latter stages of Liverpool’s campaign, but the Cork man will aim to feature more regularly still during the 2021/22 season.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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- Originally published at 13.11

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