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Caoimhín Kelleher stepping up to the mark for Liverpool

by Staff writer
18 Dec 2020 at 17:43hrs | Views
There is a subtle beauty to a goalkeeping performance defined by composure and self-command. It breathes calm into the soul of teammates, coaches, and supporters alike – an antidote to the haphazard. In a position oft-defined by fluster and flailing, to have a firm presence in goal is something of a luxury for teams, but Liverpool are fortunate to now have two reliable, level-headed stoppers at their disposal.

Yes, the emergence of Caoimhín Kelleher in recent matches for Liverpool has brought a sense of relief to Anfield, given the struggles alternative backup goalkeeper Adrián has endured in recent times at the club. Handed his Champions League debut against Ajax after regular ‘keeper Alisson was forced out through injury, Kelleher handled things with considerable aplomb, striking a composed figure all night, and coming up with the goods right at the death to deny Klaas-Jan Huntelaar with an inspired save. The 1-0 victory confirmed Liverpool's passage through the group stage, and Kelleher was the toast of Merseyside.

Back in Blackrock, County Cork, glasses were likewise being raised for their boy. A young Caoimhín had once stalked the local pitches, turning out with his long blonde hair as a striker at youth level, and scoring plenty of goals too, before being wrangled into the goalkeeper position that he has since made his speciality. There is a unique sense of pride for a hometown hero proving their worth, and one can only imagine the proud smiles on the faces of Kelleher's family and friends back home as he denied one of Europe's most celebrated strikers in a crucial Champions League match.

And perhaps even greater joy will have been drawn from Kelleher's follow-up performance against Wolves, in which that same distinct composure was paramount in Liverpool shutting the Midlands side out and recording a magnificent 4-0 win in their first game back in front of the Anfield faithful - albeit only 2,000 of them. Another fine save, this time clawing away a delicate chip from Daniel Podence, earned a sparkling reception from the Kop.

In the space of only two games, Kelleher has proved why he should now be considered Liverpool's backup goalkeeper ahead of Adrián. Throughout each match, the defence has looked utterly comfortable with Kelleher behind them, confident to bring the ball out of the backline and play a decisive pass, or equally to give the ball back to the Irishman under pressure - all a massive factor in keeping Liverpool favoured in the football betting. The 22-year-old has been unfazed by the experience, and has brought calm to the Anfield goal, where previously chaos has reigned when Alisson has been absent.

Indeed, it's clear to see the Brazilian's influence on Kelleher. Training together week-in, week-out, a young goalkeeper can't help but absorb the expertise of a seasoned, world-class stopper like Alisson. The same sense of collectedness and impeccable decision-making run through Kelleher as they do through the Brazilian, and the Irishman can count himself blessed to have had such a talented teammate to learn from and base his game on.

With Alisson set to return in the very near future, Kelleher will no doubt be consigned to the sidelines once again, but with a sense of satisfaction that he has proved his worth at one of the biggest clubs in the world. It is always difficult to predict the future of any young goalkeeper, and whether Kelleher will remain at Liverpool throughout his career is difficult to say with certainty. But in this short stretch, the young Irishman has given Liverpool fans a glimpse of a future where a certain blonde stopper wears the number one shirt, and fits it nicely.

Source - Byo24News

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