WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 4, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Why Liverpool’s new “No. 3” is not in the Champions League squad

Jurgen Klopp has named a new “No. 3” goalkeeper in the absence of Adrian through injury, but the 18-year-old will not be able to join the squad in the Champions League.

No longer a regular in the matchday squad having seen Caoimhin Kelleher take his place, Adrian is also currently sidelined with a calf injury.

The Spaniard has been unable to train under legendary new goalkeeping coach Claudio Taffarel as he recovers from the issue, with five goalkeepers joining Liverpool’s open session at Kirkby on Monday.

Taffarel, John Achterberg and Jack Robinson put Alisson, Kelleher, Loris Karius, Marcelo Pitaluga and Harvey Davies through their paces in front of the cameras.

It is likely that a larger number of ‘keepers take part in first-team training on a daily basis with the expanded coaching staff, with Klopp aiming to build “a proper goalkeeping school.”

One of those set to benefit is 18-year-old Brazilian stopper Pitaluga, signed from Internacional in a deal worth up to £1.8 million last year.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 6, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeepers Harvey Davies (L) and Marcelo Pitaluga during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 6 game between AC Milan and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When revealing Adrian‘s injury, Klopp confirmed that “Marcelo is now No. 3,” adding that he is “a very young boy, but that’s all fine.”

With only 21 players travelling to Milan for the final group game of this season’s Champions League, Pitaluga would have been expected to make a 10-man substitutes’ bench.

But the teenager is unable to take part, having been left off Liverpool’s List A for the competition and being ineligible for List B.

Though an unlimited number of players born on or after January 1, 2000 can be named on List B, UEFA rules state that they must have been “eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday.”

Since Pitaluga only joined Liverpool 14 months ago, he cannot be registered for the Champions League unless he takes a valuable slot on List A.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 24, 2021: Liverpool's Dominic Corness (C) celebrates with team-mate Kaide Gordon (L) after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Youth League Group B Matchday 4 game between Liverpool FC Under 19's and FC Porto Under 19's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The same problem befalls Kaide Gordon, along with the likes of Mateusz Musialowski and Melkamu Frauendorf, with the youngsters left to represent the Reds in the UEFA Youth League instead.

Liverpool’s under-19s take on Milan in the final group game of the youth tournament on Tuesday afternoon, hoping to secure a guaranteed place in the next round, but Pitaluga has not been registered in that squad either.

Fabian Mrozek is expected to start against the Milan U19s, then, with Davies joining the first team as part of the squad for the Champions League.

Davies is eligible for List B having been signed with Liverpool since under-9s level – the earliest a player can agree youth terms with an English club.