Klopp praises ‘exceptional’ Kelleher following shootout heroics

Jurgen Klopp singled out Caoimhin Kelleher as high praise last night after the Irishman saved three penalties to help Liverpool progress to the next round of the EFL Cup.

The Republic of Ireland international kept a clean sheet in regulation time as the Reds drew goalless against Derby County at Anfield and his heroism on penalties made him the goalkeeper with the most shootout wins (4) and more penalties in shootouts. saves (6) in club history.

It was the first time the No. 62 had appeared for the Merseysiders this season and although he regularly has to settle for a place behind Alisson Becker in the pecking order, Klopp called the 23-year-old “absolutely exceptional”.

“In History? Wow! But let’s talk about tonight,” the German said (quoted by the Liverpool Echo). “I remember the others, of course they were good too.

“But tonight it was three really good penalties. They all went to the corner and he saved them anyway. That’s huge.

“We never hold him back or say, ‘Caoimhin, you can’t play.’ It is exceptional, absolutely exceptional.

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“He hasn’t had the best season so far because he came back from vacation and got injured. She took a long time to get back into training and get back up to speed. But obviously he is already ready.

“The goalkeeping coaches are doing an incredible job. He is their product, and I’m sure they would say the exact same thing. What they do with it, they develop a modern goalkeeper. As cool as you want, he can play football and on top of that he can catch balls and keep the ball out of the net in a really good way. That’s really good.

“I’m over the moon for him, that he can have these situations. He is a down to earth guy, though he rarely smiles. When he smiles, it means a lot to him. Really cool.

“He still has many years left as a goalkeeper. If he can keep that record, he’ll be exceptional. They will be crazy numbers. He did very well.”

Before last night, Kelleher last appeared for the club during Chelsea’s defeat in the League Cup final at Wembley in February.

We won 11-10 on penalties after 90 scoreless minutes and extra time with the Irishman even scoring from 12 yards on the night.

Klopp tagged the goalkeeper as the best number two in the world after last night’s win and while it’s great to see him perform so well for the club whenever called upon, there will be minor concerns in the Liverpool camp about how long he will settle. being second choice.

In just under two weeks he will turn 24 and has only played 18 games for the club.

He will understand that he has one of the best goalkeepers in the world ahead of him in Alisson and he has clearly learned a lot from the Brazilian, but he will also feel that he is good enough to start for a Premier League team.

Kelleher has admitted that it is ‘difficult’ not to play many games, but insists he loves to work hard in training and be ready when called upon.

Our No. 1 is under contract until 2027, so we can’t see Kelleher getting regular playing time anytime soon, except in cup competitions.

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