SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

WATFORD, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 16, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) embraces goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher after the FA Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road. Liverpool won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp confirms Liverpool U21s plan for Caoimhin Kelleher

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that, with Caoimhin Kelleher now back fit, there is a plan in place for the Liverpool goalkeeper to build up game time.

It has been almost three months since a groin injury was discovered upon Kelleher’s return to pre-season at the AXA Training Centre, with the issue overlooked by the Republic of Ireland.

The 23-year-old has been unable to join the squad since, with Adrian and Harvey Davies filling the bench in his absence while Alisson has started every competitive game.

But Kelleher was pictured in training on Thursday, ahead of the visit of Brighton in the Premier League – and in his pre-match press conference, Klopp detailed his situation.

The manager revealed that his No. 62 will not be in the squad at Anfield, with a start for the Liverpool under-21s pencilled in instead.

“Caoimh I think will play this weekend, U21s, so that he can have a game,” Klopp explained.

“It’s obviously not his season yet. He was quite injured for a long time, but looks good in training, is completely fine.”

The U21s take on Arsenal at the AXA Training Centre on Saturday, kicking off an hour before the first team, with Kelleher taking the place of 19-year-old Davies, who should instead be part of the Premier League squad.

SEAGRAVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 17, 2022: Liverpool's Arthur Melo (L) and Fabio Carvalho (C) run out for the second half during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Leicester City FC Under-23's and Liverpool FC Under-23's at the Leicester City Training Ground. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is not the first time a senior player has dropped down to the U21s this season, and in fact, it has been seen more regularly than usual.

Arthur started against both Leicester in the league and Rochdale in the EFL Trophy, as he works his way to sharpness having missed pre-season with Juventus, while Nat Phillips and Fabio Carvalho also lined up against Leicester.

Towards the back end of last term, too, there was an outing for Harvey Elliott in a 4-0 thrashing of the Leicester under-23s.

For Kelleher, the hope will be that there is no recurrence of his injury and he is able to rejoin the first-team squad in the near future, with an eye on starting against Derby in the Carabao Cup next month.

His last appearance for the U21s came in a 7-2 loss to Man City in November 2020.