Caoimhin Kelleher stakes claim for Liverpool back up spot with clean sheet 10 months ago

Caoimhin Kelleher stakes claim for Liverpool back up spot with clean sheet

It was quite the night for Caoimhín Kelleher

Starring in Liverpool's Champions League group stage win over Ajax, goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher became the first Irish player to play in the Champions League since 2016 - when Eoghan O'Connell played for Celtic - and indeed the first Irish goalkeeper ever to keep a clean sheet in the Champions League group stages.

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Kelleher is only 22 years of age, has been at Liverpool since 2015 - making League Cup and FA Cup appearances since - but this was a significant step forward for him.

In the absence of the injured Alisson, Klopp placed his faith in Kelleher rather than Adrian and he's being widely tipped to hold onto that number one spot ahead of Liverpool's clash with Wolves in the Premier League this Sunday.

Up against a talented Ajax side, Jurgen Klopp's team were under pressure as they looked to book their place in the Champions League round of 16, and the young goalkeeper met the challenge head on, making two brilliant saves in the process.

Afterwards, Jurgen Klopp greeted the youngster with a warm embrace to round off a fantastic night for him. On BT Sport, Michael Owen, Peter Crouch and Rio Ferdinand waxed lyrical about the youngster, with Owen summing up well how much it will mean to him.

"It's just great. You can't help but smile watching that interview," said the former Liverpool player.

"It takes you back to when you were young and how much it means to you. This is 20 years of hopes and dreams and to get your chance, to not let people down and to be one of the heroes, because he was tonight. There were three young lads out there and they all contributed tonight."

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"Alisson has had his injury problems and that was a big call to keep Adrian out today, For him to come in and play as assured as that, he's going to get more games," added Crouch.

Klopp meanwhile, mentioned that Kelleher's footballing ability was one of the key reasons why he was chosen ahead of Alisson.

"I really think Adrian has done for us an incredible job. But tonight, in this game, we needed the football playing ability, the natural football playing ability of Caoimhín, and because he's a really good shot-stopper as-well...I'm really happy how Caoimhín Kelleher dealt with it. How calm he was and how good he was."

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We'll leave the last word to the man himself.