Caoimhin Kelleher eager to secure loan move to reach ‘the next stage’

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Caoimhin Kelleher is likely to be among those to leave Liverpool on loan in the next transfer window, with the young goalkeeper eager to play regular first-team football.

The Reds have utilised the loan market with regularity during Jurgen Klopp‘s reign, with the intention of priming the club’s young players for a senior berth.

But while Rhian Brewster was allowed to leave for Swansea in January, the manager made the decision to retain his new core of prospects as he believed they would be better served at Melwood.

Kelleher was one of those, along with Neco Williams, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott, and between them the quartet have played a combined 24 games for the first team this season; 14 coming in the second half of the campaign.

The Irishman impressed against the likes of MK Dons, Arsenal and Shrewsbury, while also making nine appearances for the academy and sitting on the bench for 12 games including in the Premier League and Champions League.

But for next season Kelleher is aiming for a No. 1 role elsewhere, according to the Liverpool Echo.

They claim he is “ready for the next stage of his personal development and keen to move on loan when the transfer window opens.”

However, naturally “any short-term switch will need to be rubber-stamped with assurances,” such as those received when Kamil Grabara joined Huddersfield last summer with the Pole arriving as first choice.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Friday, December 21, 2018: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It remains to be seen which clubs could make an approach for Kelleher, though Preston North End were interested in a deal in January—but it is questionable whether he would start at Deepdale.

Given Kelleher’s profile and experience at Liverpool, it seems likely that a Championship move would be required, rather than lower down the Football League pyramid.

Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday could be among those in the market for a new stopper ahead of 2020/21, and the shift in finances could ensure loan moves are more favourable to many clubs.

Kelleher would certainly benefit from a season of regular first-team football, as though he is fondly regarded at Anfield accruing experience would aid his progress significantly.

With Adrian established as Alisson‘s backup, and Andy Lonergan potentially given a new deal, there is no clear pathway for Kelleher in Klopp’s squad at this stage.

If he does leave, that could pave the way for the likes of Grabara, Vitezslav Jaros and Jakub Ojrzynski to get a taste of life travelling with the Reds for matchdays, as the 21-year-old has throughout this season.

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