Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could be about to unleash his next ‘fast-tracked’ player.
Last season was difficult to navigate due to Liverpool’s injury crisis at the back.
“Every issue, however, is an opportunity disguised,” as the saying goes.
For the Reds, that phrase, credited to America’s second president John Adams, came true.
While having so many key players out was a major setback for Jurgen Klopp and his squad, it also provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of young players.
Nat Phillips and Curtis Jones were two players who were given more starts than they expected entering into the 2020/21 season, and now that they’ve been promoted to the first team, they’re ready to go when called upon.
Caoimhin Kelleher was another player who was thrown into the deep end.
In December of last year, when he filled in for the injured Alisson in the Champions League against Ajax, the goalkeeper shone in the most scrutinized position on the pitch.
The Irish goalkeeper helped the Reds advance to the knockout rounds of Europe’s biggest competition by keeping a clean sheet against the Dutch giants.
After keeping a clean sheet in his debut against MK Dons in the League Cup in September 2019, he kept another shutout in a 4-0 thrashing of Wolves five days later, making it three in a row.
He was the youngest Liverpool goalkeeper to not concede on his debut Premier League start at the age of 22 and 13 days.
Klopp was happy, if not relieved, to see Kelleher and his youthful teammates rise to the occasion as goalkeepers, while Jones and Phillips thrived in high-pressure situations.
“We obviously had some injury issues, we lost some top-class players to injuries, and of course, if one door closes, another opens,” he remarked.
“You still need the right kids, the right athletes to take advantage of the opportunity.”
“To be honest, we would have been lost without them.” Thank God, everything worked out.
“When Nat (Phillips) played in the Premier League, he was just great.
“Curtis plays like he’s been with us for ten years. Caoimhin has always had a skill, and now that he has the opportunity to showcase it on a larger platform, he should take advantage of it.” Since then, the young Cork native has progressed from strength to strength.
Kelleher is one of them. “The summary has come to an end.”