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Why Liverpool must fight to keep Caoimhin Kelleher amidst Celtic interest

“Caoimhin Kelleher is the best number two goalie in the world,” an ecstatic Jurgen Klopp exclaimed (via the Irish Independent) following the Irish shot-stopper’s heroics in the final of their League Cup win over Chelsea in February 2022.

This wasn’t just a manager offering a placatory pat on the back to his backup goalkeeper.

Kelleher had stepped in for an injured Alisson Becker and proved his worth during the game before dispatching his spot-kick. He could only watch Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga blast the ball over the bar as the Reds took the cup.

Kelleher has provided several key moments for Liverpool since his emergence from the academy in 2019. He played a pivotal role in the win over Chelsea again in the League Cup weeks ago, making crucial saves to keep us in the game against the West Londoners before Virgil Van Dijk’s extra-time winner.

The 25-year-old was equally excellent when we welcomed Manchester City last weekend. He made timely interventions to prevent the Cityzens from running away with the game in the first half.

Kelleher’s performances have caught the attention of suitors like Nottingham Forest. They wanted him in January but eventually moved to other targets.

Celtic are the latest to register an interest in the Cork-born star. The Bhoys want the Liverpool goalie to replace Joe Hart, who will retire at the end of the season. 

While Kelleher can nail down a starting spot he deserves elsewhere, the Reds should be fighting to retain his services. He is a stellar performer that we must not lose.

He’s not just any backup. He’s a top-class goalkeeper in his own right, as Klopp rightly acknowledged. Losing Kelleher would create a massive void in the squad, leaving a gaping hole behind Alisson.

Also, with the club likely to undergo a period of transition this summer, there’s a strong argument to be made for continuity. 

Kelleher represents stability and reliability in a potentially uncertain period. He’s a proven talent who embodies the winning mentality that Klopp has instilled at Liverpool.

Kelleher deserves a chance to be a number one goalkeeper, but that opportunity must not necessarily come outside Anfield. 

Alisson is undoubtedly world-class but tends to suffer injuries in crucial periods. Retaining Kelleher would give Liverpool an assured option to call upon.

Celtic’s interest in Kelleher only goes to show his value. Liverpool must act decisively and secure him beyond his current deal, which ends in 2026.

Kelleher is a capable option who needs to continue his his remarkable performances in red. He can be a vital player for years to come. 

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