Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been full of praise for Irish U21 international goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher outlining that the 20-year old’s “unbelievable skills” have “surprised players in training.”
Kelleher is one of Liverpool and Ireland’s most exciting prospects and recently made his debut for Stephen Kenny’s U21s in the victory over Luxembourg.
The young keeper has also been involved in the senior setup having been called up under Martin O’Neill towards the end of 2018 but is still yet to win his first cap.
Klopp has also included Kelleher in a handful of first-team team squads, including January’s game against Wolves while the 20-year old started a number of high profile friendlies during the summer where he was singled out for praise by the Liverpool boss.
“He is an outstanding talent. Outstanding,” Liverpool boss Klopp said of Kelleher after his side’s win against Napoli in Dublin in August.
“He is very cool with the ball. He played in front of 100,000 people in a pre-season game, he has played in front of 60,000, so he isn’t really bothered about that. [It’s] a very important skill.”
“He has fantastic reactions. If nothing serious happens, he has a really fantastic future. I don’t know how many really good goalkeepers Ireland have, but one more is never a big mistake. I like him a lot and I’m happy that we have him in our squad.”
The Liverpool manager again singled Kelleher out for praise during his press conference ahead of the Reds’ crucial game against Huddersfield on Friday evening.
Klopp was asked about the importance of every member of the squad contributing to their title chase, singling out back-up goalkeeper Simon Mignolet as an example of professionalism despite his lack of game time.
The German then also mentioned Kelleher, whose “unbelievable skills” he said, have surprised many in Liverpool training.
“It’s a shame we have to speak about it, because it’s completely logical – if you only have a first XI then something is completely wrong with the team. The quality we have in training when all the boys are fit is incredible, it’s the best quality I ever had in training.
“But I liked that Millie (James Milner) spoke about Simon, and it’s not nice to say about Simon because I’m pretty sure he thinks of himself as a No. 1 – which he would be in most of the other clubs – but he’s 100 per cent the best No. 2 in the Premier League.
“It’s just a good feeling for me to have him, and he still made steps, he still improved in the last year, because of his professionalism and his attitude.
“I’m not in the dressing room constantly but when Millie says something like this it’s 100 per cent the truth.
“I’m really happy having this quality, and then with Caoimhin [Kelleher] as No. 3, who is the young prospect and surprised a lot of players in training with unbelievable skills. So that is a very good position for us and we are really happy about that.”