International Soccer

‘I’m not silly’ – Liverpool star admits desire to leave Anfield

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher has confirmed he is prepared to leave Liverpool this summer in search of regular minutes.

Kelleher has been with Liverpool since 2015 but, since breaking into the senior setup in 2019, has operated as cover for Alisson and been restricted to just 47 career appearances as a result.

Last season brought 26 outings as Alisson battled injury and Kelleher confirmed to The Athletic he has no desire to spend another season behind the Brazilian in the pecking order at Anfield.

“It was the first time in my career that I’d had a spell like that and I loved it,” he reflected. “I thrived on it. I’d been waiting for a moment like that. It was a massive opportunity for me to be Liverpool’s No 1 for that long.

“It was my time to show the level I believe I can perform at and the level people at the club think I’m able to play at. I proved that I’m good enough to play in the Premier League – I’m comfortable there. I’ve always had that belief in myself. Proving it to people was satisfying.

“Playing against Man City at home was another big one for me with the rivalry between us. You’re not going to play in a more high-profile game than that in world football and I thought I did really well. You think, ‘Yeah, I’m capable of doing this every week at a high level’. I got the taste for it and I want to do it all the time. My main ambition is to be a No 1.

Alisson Becker, Caoimhin Kelleher

Kelleher admits he is unlikely to displace Alisson / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

“It would be great if that happened at Liverpool, but I’m not silly. I know that Ali has been the best goalkeeper in the world for years.

“I’ve had such an amazing time at Liverpool. It’s been a crazy journey for me and one that I’ve absolutely loved. I love the club, I love the fans and I have a great relationship with the players and the staff. Whether it’s here at Liverpool or somewhere else, I do feel the next step for me is to be a No 1.”

Kelleher confirmed he plans to hold talks with incoming manager Arne Slot this summer.

“There will be some discussions over the coming weeks,” he explained. “The club was busy with the manager leaving and appointing a new one. With all the new staff arriving, those talks will happen.”

Liverpool have been tipped to reunite Slot with Feyenoord goalkeeper Justin Bijlow, who recently admitted his interest in sealing a summer transfer.

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