Liverpool will likely have work to do this summer when it comes to bolstering its goalkeeper ranks when two shot-stoppers could depart at the end of the season.
It is likely to be a time of great change at Anfield this summer with various stars heading for the exit door. The potential departures of two goalkeepers could present a golden opportunity for one homegrown Liverpool starlet.
There is no doubt that Caoimhín Kelleher can leave with his head held high this summer if he is to leave Merseyside for pastures new in the upcoming transfer window. At 24 years old, it is possible that he could decide to leave Liverpool after finding regular first-team football very hard to come by due to the presence of the unshakable Alisson Becker as the club’s number one.
After the Irishman’s exploits in last year’s Carabao Cup final, his place in Reds folklore is already secure, which is no mean feat for a player who has featured just 20 times since making his debut back in the 2019/20 season. It is worth noting that he is not the only Liverpool goalkeeper who will likely be leaving at the end of the season, with third-choice Adrián also set to depart with his contract entering its final months.
Again, the Spanish goalkeeper has enjoyed a storied stint as a backup, playing a starring role as Liverpool got the better of Chelsea to win the UEFA Super Cup on penalties back in 2019. Most footballers would perhaps scoff at the idea of playing second or even third fiddle to a seemingly immovable first-choice goalkeeper, but on the evidence of Kelleher and Adrián, it is clear that being an understudy to Alisson has still been an enriching experience, with both ‘keepers winning medals in their respective times at Anfield.
For one Liverpool academy goalkeeper, it appears that opportunity knocks ahead of next term, with pre-season giving him the unique chance to put himself in the first-team picture. It will not be lost on many observers that the aforementioned Kelleher also came through the ranks to establish himself as Alisson’s deputy and Liverpool-born stopper Harvey Davies will be hoping to follow in the Ireland international’s footsteps in the coming years.
Promisingly, the omens are good, with the 19-year-old having already been involved with the first team on various occasions, having made the bench for Champions League games against RB Leipzig and Real Madrid in 2020/21, as well as for the Charity Shield wins over Manchester City at the start of this season. Recognition of his progress has gone beyond Merseyside as well, with the youngster having already made two appearances for the England U20s side — his most recent call-up coming ahead of the March internationals.
Last pre-season saw Davies achieve two major milestones as he made an unofficial debut for the first team in a friendly against Crystal Palace in Singapore alongside signing a new contract extension with his boyhood side. The goalkeeper — who has been with the club since the U9s stage — has continued his rise this season and has made 22 appearances in all for Liverpool’s U21s side, keeping seven clean sheets in all.
On top of this, the prospect made the bench for clashes against Manchester United, Bournemouth, and Newcastle United earlier this season. He also was named in the squad for the Champions League group stage clashes against European heavyweights Napoli and Ajax earlier this term.
Intriguingly, it has been some 58 years since a Scouser last kept goal for Liverpool in the form of Billy Molyneux, who appeared in the final game of the 1964-65 season. Having trained with the first team at various points during this season, one would surmise that Childwall teenager Davies will be itching to put that record to bed in the not-too-distant future.
Recent history suggests that being a backup to Alisson is probably one of the most underrated roles in club football. Kelleher has proven that an academy graduate can provide more than capable cover for the Brazilian star and Davies must grab his rare chance with both hands during the upcoming pre-season if Kelleher does go.