Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that home-grown goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher will start the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.
Kelleher has played in three previous games in the competition this season, including the semi-final second leg against Arsenal last month, and Klopp has insisted there is ‘no chance’ he won’t get the nod ahead of usual first choice Alisson this weekend.
“It’s just a thing we have to do because of the quality Caoimh has,” the Liverpool boss explained when he faced the media ahead of Sunday’s final.
“We want to keep him as long as somehow possible, knowing that, from our point of view, the best goalkeeper in the world is our number one.
“Caoimh is an exceptional goalkeeper and we want to keep him here. For that, he needs games. These games are his competition, and there’s no chance of him not playing.”
Kelleher is yet to feature in the Champions League this season and has played twice in the Premier League – but only when Alisson has been unavailable. He has, however, played in both of Liverpool’s FA Cup ties so far in addition to his Carabao Cup involvement.
The 23-year-old from Cork on the south coast of Ireland joined Liverpool at the age of 16. He was on the bench for the 2019 Champions League final before he had even made his debut and later got his first senior game time in the Carabao Cup early the following season.
Kelleher has played in 16 first-team games for Liverpool to date and has two senior Ireland caps.