Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher was given another pre-season run-out in Liverpool’s International Champions Cup clash with Manchester City on Wednesday night.
The 19-year-old former Ringmahon Rangers man played for the entire second half of the Reds’ friendly in the Reds’ victory at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, replacing Loris Karius at the restart.
Tasked with keeping out the likes of Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva was never going to be an easy task – and although he was beaten once by the former in the second half, Kelleher can be proud of his overall performance between the posts for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
In particular, he can point to a fine bit of shot-stopping to deny Sane early in the second half, getting down low to block the German international’s shot at close range.
51′ Incredible goalkeeping from Caoimhin Kelleher, City are through on goal in a 2v1 situation, they pass it across goal and Kelleher get in front of it in the last second
— The Kopite (@TheKopiteOFF) July 26, 2018
The Ireland under-19 international earned strong reviews on social media as onlookers were impressed in what was just his second senior appearance for the club.
Unbelievable to see caoimhin kelleher play 45 min vrs man city last night ⚽️⚽️
— Ringmahon Rangers (@RingmahonRanger) July 26, 2018
So class watching back last nights game and seeing a Cork man playing in goals for Liverpool in the second half…Caoimhin Kelleher, this man is living the dream – what a save against Sane too ? #YNWA
— Kevin Roche (@K_Ro_89) July 26, 2018
Get in Sadio lad.
Have to say Caoimhin Kelleher didnt put a foot wrong either.
— Kev H 1977 #YNWA 77-78-81-84-05 (@gumpy77) July 26, 2018
Maith an fear Caoimhin Kelleher. Maith an fear. #LFC
— Cathal Conlon (@CathalConlon) July 26, 2018
Kelleher is part of an intriguing goalkeeping situation at Anfield. The £65m signing of Alisson Becker ended all debate as to who is the side’s undisputed number one, but the hierarchy below that is a little complicated.
As it stands, with Danny Ward already out the door, Loris Karius would be seen as second-choice with Simon Mignolet in at number three. However, with one of those two almost certain to leave in the coming weeks, there is a space there that Kelleher will be looking to fill.
He faces strong competition for that role from Polish under-21 international Kamil Grabara – however, his impressive first-team performances to date might just give him the edge over his rival.