Liverpool plan to promote another academy goalkeeper to their first-team ranks, with a six-strong group to include three youngsters working under Claudio Taffarel.
Taffarel, the legendary Brazil stopper, joined the Reds as a third goalkeeping coach in November, operating alongside head of goalkeeping John Achterberg and assistant Jack Robinson.
It was a surprise move, but one that expands Liverpool’s expertise in a key area, with Jurgen Klopp outlining his desire for a “proper goalkeeping school.”
The appointment has increased the first-team training group from three or four ‘keepers to six, with youngsters Marcelo Pitaluga, 19, and Harvey Davies, 18, becoming full-time fixtures.
Liverpool’s goalkeeping hierarchy
Karius is out of contract at the end of the current campaign, and his representatives are exploring options for a January move, with suggestions he could return to Germany.
When the 28-year-old does depart, Liverpool will move another young goalkeeper up to the senior squad, to primarily work under Taffarel.
In an interesting interview with The Athletic‘s James Pearce, Achterberg detailed the plan as Karius seeks a move away, with the arrival of Taffarel allowing more contact time with “the goalies who aren’t involved in the match squad.”
As Achterberg explained, Taffarel links up with Achterberg and Robinson on a daily basis at Kirkby, but does not regularly travel to first-team games.
Instead, he remains at the training ground working with those goalkeepers left behind, with Liverpool typically including three stoppers as part of their matchday group.
So while the 55-year-old arrived on recommendation of Alisson, and works closely with him in the Brazil setup, his focus is more often on the likes of Pitaluga and Davies.
Achterberg’s assertion that “if Loris goes, then we will look to bring one up from the academy again,” opens up the prospect of the likes of Vitezslav Jaros, Fabian Mrozek (pictured below) or Luke Hewitson joining the senior squad.
“We are always looking for who might be the next one to come up,” he continued.
“In the end, only one goalie plays for Liverpool and currently we have the best in the world in Ali. We also have one of the best young talents around in Caoimhin, so I don’t think we can complain.
“Hopefully, Marcelo and Harvey can make the same steps. Our aim is to keep creating our own goalies. To do that, we need to keep improving both our scouting and our ways of working to find them and then develop them.
“It’s good to have Taffa on board to help with that. There’s always enough work to go around.”