LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 1, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga walks out before the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Crystal Palace’s Under-21’s and Liverpool FC Under-21's at the Crystal Palace Training Ground. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Why Liverpool have brought goalkeeper back early ahead of pre-season kickoff

Liverpool have terminated the loan deal of goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga, with the Brazilian instead expected to play an important role at the start of pre-season.

Pitaluga joined Irish side St Patrick’s Athletic on an initial season-long loan in January, with the terms of his deal running to November.

But after just four league appearances and having long lost his place in the side, the 21-year-old has been brought back to Liverpool early.

St Pat’s manager Stephen Kenny confirmed the loan had been terminated last week, saying: “They want him back, he’s back training with the first team.”

“He’s a breath of fresh air, a great guy. We like Marcelo, a really talented athletic goalkeeper who just hasn’t been in the team,” Kenny added.

“I didn’t get to see him play in the team here, bar the Leinster Senior Cup, but he has a big future ahead of him.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 5, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and Union SG at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Kenny revealing that Pitaluga has now rejoined Liverpool’s first team, it explains the decision for the club to recall him five months early.

Arne Slot will kick off his first pre-season as head coach on Friday, with a lack of senior goalkeepers available in his initial squad.

Alisson is currently at Copa America with Brazil, while Adrian‘s contract has expired and he is expected to join Real Betis on a free transfer.

Meanwhile, Vitezslav Jaros is not due back until mid-July as the 22-year-old takes in a three-week break following the Czech Republic’s exit from the Euros.

That leaves Caoimhin Kelleher as the only senior goalkeeper for the start of pre-season, and even he faces an uncertain future having confirmed his desire to be a No. 1.

A young goalkeeper group

NAPLES, ITALY - Wednesday, September 7, 2022: Liverpool's goalkeeper Harvey Davies during the pre-match warm-up before the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Pitaluga is therefore set to bolster the goalkeeping group from day one, with youngsters Harvey Davies and Fabian Mrozek, both 20, also likely to be involved.

It could give the young Brazilian an opportunity to catch the eye, particularly as there is a new head of goalkeeping in place as Fabian Otte takes over from the departed John Achterberg.

Otte is likely to join Slot’s staff as early as Friday, having seen his own stay at Copa America end on Monday night as the United States – for whom he also served as goalkeeper coach – exited at the end of the group stage.

With fresh eyes on his performances in training, and possibly during the friendlies against Real Betis, Arsenal, Man United and Sevilla, Pitaluga could see this as a chance to make up for lost time.