Caoimhin Kelleher. Alamy Stock Photo
Glowing praise

'Kelleher could play every game for Ireland' - Liverpool goalkeeping coach

John Achterberg says he is confident of the Cork stopper’s ability to perform regularly at the highest level.

LIVERPOOL GOALKEEPING COACH John Achterberg believes Caoimhin Kelleher has what it takes to be a top goalkeeper. 

The 23-year-old has proved himself to be a worthy back-up to the Reds’ first-choice stopper Alisson whenever called upon, making five appearances in all competitions so far this season.

At international level, Cork native Kelleher is behind 19-year-old Gavin Bazunu in the pecking order.

The Man City teenager, currently on loan at Portsmouth, has justified the faith shown by Ireland manager Stephen Kenny — winning a number of accolades including RTE’s Young Sportsperson of the Year award.

However, long-serving Dutch coach Achterberg is confident that Kelleher can be a success, having developed under Brazil’s No.1 Alisson.

soccer-football-premier-league-liverpool-v-tottenham-hotspur-anfield-liverpool-britain-october-27-2019-liverpool-goalkeeping-coach-john-achterberg-before-the-match-reutersphil-noble-edit Achterberg warming up Kelleher at Anfield. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

“Caoimhin is doing really well,” Achterberg told The Athletic. “Unbelievable speed and reactions, but he’s also calm.

“He’s learned a lot from working with Ali. He’s become a man now. He could play every game for his national team, no danger. He has shown that he can play in the Premier League. At the moment, he’s in the right shape and in the right mindset.

I feel confident that if Ali has an issue and cannot play, then we have someone like him to put in. It’s a good feeling for us as coaches to have.

“At some point in the future, there could be a time when Caoimhin might decide he wants to be a No 1. I have no doubt about his ability to achieve that.”

Kelleher has been linked with loan moves away from Liverpool in recent seasons, with Ireland goalkeeping legend Shay Given saying over the weekend that he thinks a short-term deal would benefit the player

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