Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has admitted goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher needs to leave Liverpool this summer if he is to fulfil his potential.
The 24-year-old will meet up with his international colleagues ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Greece and Gibraltar later this month and resume his battle with Gavin Bazunu for the role of Ireland’s number one.
However, the man who played in the Reds’ 2022 Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea is still firmly in the shadow of Brazilian star Alisson Becker at Anfield and made just four club appearances for his club last season, and Kenny expects him to seek pastures new before the new campaign gets underway.
He said: “I would fully expect that.
“It’s not right normally to speak about a player moving, but he’s at the stage where he’s behind probably one of the best goalkeepers in the world and it’s not going to get any easier.
“He can’t afford not playing. He knows that and he’s known that for a while.
“It’s not easy. There’s a process you go through with a club like that and I think and it wouldn’t be a surprise for him to move in the summer, and he knows that.
“I think he’s ready to go and play regularly because he needs to.
“It’s hard to leave Liverpool, it’s such an iconic club, but he’s not so young now. He’s 24 and he needs to play and he knows that.”
Kenny faces something of a conundrum with his keepers, with Kelleher, Bazunu and Mark Travers all at Premier League clubs, but struggling for regular football.
Bazunu, 21, lost his place at Southampton as they fought, ultimately unsuccessfully, to stave off relegation, although his international manager is optimistic his confidence will not be affected by that experience.
Kenny said: “He”s done remarkable, really, in a short career, Gavin as well. For one so young, he’s done remarkably well. He’s always looked very confident playing for us.”