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Decision Time for Caoimhin Kelleher as Clubs Eye Move for Liverpool Goalie

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher cemented his status as an outstanding shot-stopper when his heroics helped the Reds win the League Cup in 2022. Leicester City took Liverpool to penalties in the fifth round and he saved two spot-kicks to help the Merseyside club book their place in the next round. 


The 25-year-old also made massive saves on Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic in the final against Chelsea. The Reds ultimately won on penalties, with Kelleher's heroics a pivotal part of the story.


Kelleher repeated his excellent performance against Chelsea in the League Cup final this year, earning the praise of manager Jurgen Klopp. He reiterated that the Cork-born keeper is the best number two goalie in the world.

However, Kelleher's is good enough to be a starting goalkeeper and clubs are circling. He must decide whether to stay at Liverpool as Alisson's understudy or take the leading role elsewhere.

Loyalty vs Opportunity

Kelleher is loyal to Liverpool. He came up through the club's academy ranks, and they nurtured him into the fantastic keeper he is today.


But even the deepest gratitude has its limits. The Irishman has been reliable whenever called upon, deputising adeptly for Alisson, but he can only stand in the shadows for so long. Despite all his praise for his number two, Klopp abundantly made it clear that he was just that - a number two. Alisson will always be the first choice between the sticks. 


Incoming manager Arne Slot will likely stick with that dynamic, meaning Kelleher will be languishing on the sidelines again. A goalkeeper of his calibre should be starting every week. With a contract ending in 2026, he needs to prioritise finding a club where he is the first choice.

Which Clubs Want Kelleher?

Celtic are looking for a replacement for Joe Hart, who will retire from professional football at the end of the season.  The 36-year-old is manager Brendan Rodgers' first-choice goalie, but the Bhoys must prepare for a new era. They need a long-term solution – a role Kelleher can seamlessly fill.


The Scottish Premiership giants have been strongly linked with a move for Kelleher, and a transfer looks perfect from all angles.  Celtic compete for trophies consistently. He would gain invaluable experience playing in high-pressure situations and European competitions.


Kelleher’s Irish connections would undoubtedly spike interest among Celtic’s huge fanbase in his homeland, many of whom love wagering on Scottish Premiership games. If Kelleher moves to Parkhead, the leading betting apps in Ireland would be inundated with bets on the Liverpool goalkeeper finishing with the most clean sheets in the league.


Regular playing time will allow him to refine his skills and solidify his reputation as a top goalkeeper. The Cork native must be desperate to impress new Irish national team manager John O'Shea. Kelleher is behind Gavin Bazunu in the pecking order but can claim the number one spot with a new manager coming in if he plays regularly. A move to Celtic appears to be a win-win situation. Celtic would gain a talented goalkeeper, and he gets the chance to establish himself on a prominent stage.


Premier League club Nottingham Forest have also been keeping a close eye on Kelleher amid their goalkeeping woes. Forest have struggled for stability between the sticks. The Tricky Trees loaned Matt Turner from Arsenal this summer, but he failed to inspire. 


Turner made three errors that led to goals in 17 appearances this term. Forest decided they needed a new goalkeeper and swooped for Benfica's Odysseas Vlachodimos in the January transfer window


However, Vlachodimos conceded 12 goals in five appearances. Forest also signed Matz Sels from Strasbourg, and he has been just as woeful as the other pair. Forest need an assured goalkeeper and Kelleher fits the bill. He would provide stability in goal and help the team to flourish. 


Kelleher is at a crucial juncture in his career. He deserves a starting role, and the summer transfer window will likely see him take the next step in his promising career.

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