Premier League • England

Liverpool man advised to shun Klopp compliments and quit Anfield due to big-money star

Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk at the Champions League Player of the Year awards. The Brazilian is blocking Caoimhin Kelleher path to Liverpool first team

Liverpool’s Carabao Cup final hero Caoimhin Kelleher has a big decision to make this summer and should push to leave Anfield, according to a former Reds goalkeeper.

The Cork-born goalkeeper was trusted with the gloves for the Carabao Cup final on Sundayand the 23-year-old ended up scoring the winning penalty. Indeed, Kelleher got the nod to start in goal, despite Alisson being fully fit.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who had started Kelleher in three of the previous rounds in the League Cup, made a big call. It was a decision which Jamie Carragher criticised ahead of the Wembley date.But ultimately Klopp was vindicated with Kelleher putting in a faultless display as the Reds won 11-10 on penalties.

Kelleher, though, was widely praised for his performance, with Klopp among those waxing lyrical over the Irishman’s display.

However, that was only his eighth start in all competitions this season. And in fact he has played just twice in the Premier League this term.

Now former Reds goalkeeper David James has suggested Kelleher may have to quit Anfield in order to achieve more game-time.

He claims the 23-year-old has a “big decision” to make on his future if he wants to further progress.

“Kelleher, he’s proved himself as a very, very capable goalkeeper,” James said to Sky Sports.

‘Decision needs to be made’

“Also, when Alisson signs a new five-year deal, you ask the question ‘are you planning on being Liverpool’s next No 1 or is this just a stepping stone?’.

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“I think at the moment, obviously he’s getting a lot of rave reviews, he can get away with not having to play every week.

“But there will come a point where Liverpool will have to make a decision.

“Or Kelleher has to make a decision. ‘Am I going to be a No 1 somewhere else or am I going to stay at this massive club winning trophies and just playing my part in cup matches?’.

Alisson blocking Kelleher path

Despite his faultless display, Kelleher will invariably remain second choice at Anfield due to the presence of Alisson.

The £66.8m keeper has been a rock solid presence for the Reds since his move from Roma in July 2018.

As such, he remains Klopp’s undisputed selection as Liverpool No 1.

And that, according to James, presents a massive problem for Kelleher.

“It’s an interesting dynamic. It’s something that I’ve been noticing a lot more in the last year or two, the rotation of squads..

“Manchester City and Liverpool are the two teams that seem to do it more than anyone else, and how players are satisfied with not playing every week.

“I would leave. I couldn’t help myself, I just wanted to play all the time.

“Leaving Liverpool is a big decision to make, especially for someone like Kelleher.”

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