LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 1, 2022: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-21's and Arsenal FC Under-21's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Caoimhin Kelleher has “ambition to be No. 1” – Klopp says “we all hope it’s here”

Jurgen Klopp admits that Caoimhin Kelleher “has the ambition to be a No. 1,” but hopes he will stay with Liverpool instead of joining “the wrong club.”

Klopp has been effusive in his praise for Kelleher ever since his breakthrough into the first-team setup, presiding over a difficult balance between Alisson and his backup.

The Irishman is undoubtedly good enough to be No. 1 goalkeeper at another top-flight side, and can look to the likes of Emi Martinez and compatriot Gavin Bazunu as examples of those who have made the step from No. 2 at a bigger club.

But the manager believes that, with the foundation Liverpool have in place, Kelleher has already found the perfect home.

“First and foremost, with all the things he did so far, he became the goalie he is now,” he told reporters on Friday.

“It’s now not that we think he would be even better [if he was playing every week].

“Caoimh is an outstanding goalie, he’s our goalie, that’s absolutely great. A club like us, with all the games we have, needs a goalie of his quality, definitely.

“But if we have something to talk about then I think it would make sense that we speak in between.

“It’s clear that he has the ambition to be a No. 1, but everything must be right.

“Being the No. 1 in the wrong club, all of a sudden you look like you’re not that good a goalie.

“Our style suits him very well, because he’s really calm on the ball as well, you can involve him in the buildup play. He’s like the blonde version of Ali.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 22, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is embraced by goalkeeping coach John Achterberg after the penalty shoot-out during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Part of Klopp’s belief that the grass may not be greener elsewhere for Kelleher is the foundation in place with Liverpool’s coaching staff.

John Achterberg is supported by Jack Robinson and the veteran Claudio Taffarel, with the manager delighted with their work on six goalkeepers in particular.

“He can learn – I have to say it, because it’s true – from an incredible, dedicated goalkeeper coaching staff,” Klopp continued.

“These boys, they are special coaches. They are. I really like how they work.

“It’s not only Caoimh, we have Marcelo [Pitaluga] as well, we have Harvey [Davies] as well.

“Of course, Adrian is there, who always delivered when he was needed, perfect professional.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 31, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) and goalkeeper Harvey Davies during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and RC Strasbourg Alsace at Anfield. Strasbourg won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“So, so many role models. Then Ali, who combines pretty much everything.

“This department is really exciting, what is coming up and stuff like this.

“And Caoimh, we don’t hold back praise or whatever, it’s not that we say ‘no, he’s not that good’. No, he’s really good. He is really, really good. We are really happy to have him.

“But again, he’s been training for four weeks, before that he was not available.

“He has to stay fit, definitely, then the future is bright. We all hope it’s here.”