Premier League • England

Liverpool warned off replacing ‘world class’ star with Burnley struggler who may reject Arne Slot anyway

Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford

Liverpool have been urged to steer clear of Burnley star James Trafford who they’re showing ‘concrete interest’ in, with one observer detailing why he’s not the man who should replace wantaway Reds goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.

Kelleher, 25, has earned rave reviews for his sensational shot-stopping abilities this season. The Irishman has featured more than he would’ve expected thanks to several injuries sustained by Alisson Becker. Kelleher has not disappointed and has received lofty praise from his captain and manager alike.

“We have the best goalkeeper in the world, and we have the best number two in the world,” declared Jurgen Klopp earlier in the season.

Captain Virgil Van Dijk said: “I have always said [Kelleher] is world class and he stepped up today, again. It’s good to see.

“He’s a good boy, good goalkeeper and that’s what we need at a club like Liverpool.”

However, a recent report from the Daily Mail claimed Liverpool would not stand in Kelleher’s way if he pushed to leave and become a regular starter elsewhere. That was followed by Football Insider reporting Liverpool ‘expect’ Kelleher to angle for an exit.

Kelleher has courted interest from the likes of Nottingham F0rest and Wolves over the last 12 months. Given his stellar displays this term he’ll not lack for offers to remain in the Premier League if he does decide to leave.

Liverpool and incoming boss Arne Slot would be required to sign a new back-up stopper if Kelleher departs.

FI stated in late-April that the man who could take Kelleher’s place is Burnley stopper, James Trafford.

Indeed, the Reds were described as showing ‘concrete interest’ in the 21-year-old who joined the Clarets from Manchester City last summer.

What’s more, Trafford will be expected to move on if Burnley suffered relegation back to the Championship.

However, according to former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson, Trafford moving to Liverpool would not only be a mistake for the Reds, but also for Trafford.

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Trafford to Liverpool a poor move for both – Robinson

“Trafford is not finishing the season as Burnley’s number one as he’s lost his place to Arijanet Muric,” began Robinson.

“Burnley’s turn in form has come too late and there’s no coincidence that it’s come as the goalkeeper has changed. Trafford has struggled at times even though he started the season very well.

“He came from Man City with huge expectations and he has a lot of quality. He will become a really good goalkeeper, but he’s found the Premier League really tough. He was shipping too many goals and he was culpable for a lot of goals.

“Liverpool would be an interesting move for him, but not ideal for either. Kelleher holds the keys to his future.

“As Liverpool’s number two, you will play about 20 games a season in lesser games.

“But having played as a number one this season, I can’t imagine Trafford would want to go and play as a backup even though the opportunity at Liverpool is huge.

“A move for Trafford would depend on what Kelleher decides to do. Being a number two is not ideal at this stage of his career.”

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