Stephen Kenny says leaving Liverpool ‘can only benefit’ Caoimhin Kelleher

Stephen Kenny says leaving Liverpool ‘can only benefit’ Caoimhin Kelleher

Stephen Kenny expects Caoimhin Kelleher to leave Liverpool this summer.

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny says Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher could “be on the move this summer and it can only benefit him”.

Kelleher made just four appearances under Jurgen Klopp this season, sparking speculation about his future at the football club.

Although valued at Merseyside, the Corkman has been limited to Carabao Cup football in recent times, with Brazil stopper Alisson preferred in goal when fit.

That lack of gametime has also damaged his Ireland credentials as main rival Gavin Bazunu cemented his starting position this season by making 32 Premier League starts.

Kenny expects Kelleher to leave Liverpool.

Kenny was speaking at FAI HQ ahead of Ireland’s upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Greece and Gibraltar when faced by a question about his goalkeepers:

“Caoimhin has never let us down,” explained the former Dundalk boss while listing his options.

“He is a very talented goalkeeper and…it looks like he’ll be on the move this summer and it can only benefit him because he needs to be playing games.

“He’s been starved of games this year and that’s been a problem for him.

“He’s very very talented and it’s hard to leave Liverpool as such an iconic club but you know, he’s 24, he’s not so young now, he needs to play and he knows that.”

Kenny explains Ireland squad.

The Ireland manager went on to explain why Ryan Manning and Tom Cannon missed out on the squad despite impressive respective seasons for Swansea and Preston.

Wing-back Manning was picked in the original squad but withdrew due to ‘personal reasons’. Kenny said they had “a couple of conversations so he wasn’t available”.

While Cannon, who scored eight goals in twenty games for Preston, is omitted because he has not trained in four weeks.

The Ireland under-21 international missed last week’s Bristol training camp due to tonsillitis, ending any chance he had at making the final selection.

Kenny and his coaching team have made a point of keeping players match sharp ahead of the Greece qualifier on the 16th of June after learning from mistakes away to Armenia this time last year.

As the Championship season concludes three weeks before other European leagues, the core of Ireland’s squad found themselves undercooked when they travelled to Yerevan last June.

To prevent a repeat episode for what is one of the most important games of Kenny’s tenure, he therefore organised a Bristol training camp and a Turkey training camp – the second of which is planned to acclimatise players to the Mediterranean heat.

This sharp focus on match fitness could also explain why Scotland-based players Jamie McGrath (Dundee United) and Liam Scales (Aberdeen) were included, as Scotland’s season only concluded last weekend.