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‘I always said’ – Virgil van Dijk sends Caoimhin Kelleher message as Liverpool prepare for absence of Alisson Becker

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Caoimhin Kelleher is set for a extended spell in goal for Liverpool after Alisson Becker’s injury.

Virgil van Dijk has offered a stirring backing of “world class” Caoimhin Kelleher as the goalkeeper prepares for his longest extended spell between the sticks for Liverpool.

Kelleher was an impressive performer as the Reds maintained their lead at the top of the Premier League with a 4-1 win at Brentford on Saturday.

The Republic of Ireland international, who also started the home victory over Burnley the previous weekend after Alisson Becker was absent with flu, was pressed into emergency action again after the Brazil international suffered a hamstring injury in training on Friday.

Liverpool are waiting for tests to ascertain the extent of the damage to Alisson, who was absent for a fortnight earlier in the campaign with a similar complaint.

Kelleher is now poised for his lengthiest run of consecutive games in the Reds side, with the 25-year-old on standby to line up for the Premier League visit of Luton Town on Wednesday ahead of starting the League Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday,

And Liverpool skipper Van Dijk said: “I always said that he is a world-class goalkeeper. It is very difficult to be a second keeper but there is no shame in being second goalkeeper to one of, if not the best goalkeeper in the world.

“He has to step up now and everyone needs a bit of confidence and everyone should give him the confidence that he will do the job. Everyone needs a bit of love from the outside. Hopefully Saturday will help him carry on and take that confidence into the next game.”

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