Jurgen Klopp admits he blocked exit for 'top Liverpool player' in summer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confessed he had to block a summer loan exit for goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher in order to meet squad registration rules.

Kelleher joined Liverpool eight years ago and rose up through the academy ranks before his promotion to the senior setup in 2019. Since then, he has operated as Klopp's backup goalkeeper.

Having been stuck behind Alisson in the pecking order, 25-year-old Kelleher has played just 27 games of club football across his entire senior career, with a further ten caps for the Republic of Ireland to his name.

In search of regular minutes, Kelleher was open to leaving Liverpool on loan this summer but Klopp had to block the move because of the stopper's value as a homegrown player.

"We had discussions in the summer obviously about [moving on] but as long as we don’t have a solution we cannot loan players," Klopp said. "He is homegrown and the first responsibility is to do the best for Liverpool and then we have to see how we can sort it.

"Now obviously for him, it is a situation he did not want to have, but, obviously, somehow yes because you want opportunities, you want to play, now he will get a few games, definitely. I trust him."

Kelleher is set for a string of games following Alisson's injury and will make just the sixth Premier League appearance of his career when Fulham head to Anfield on Sunday.

"We see him every day in training, he is an exceptional talent," Klopp said of Kelleher. "Maybe we don’t mention the name often enough, but John Achterberg (Liverpool's goalkeeper coach) said to me from day one when I was in that this will be our homegrown boy who will make it. Since then, we see every step, he was a boy now a man. Top goalie, no doubt.

"He is, in general, a focused person and we will not see him in a bar tonight celebrating the clean sheet! That’s not a problem. Caoimh is prepared for that, he wants that now."

Alisson is not expected to return for Wednesday's trip to Sheffield United but may be in with a chance of reclaiming his starting spot when Liverpool travel to face Crystal Palace the following weekend. Manchester United are on the schedule for December 17.


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