Liverpool youngster gets glowing endorsement from pundit

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Liverpool are through to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The Reds won Group D with a game to spare, as they beat Ajax 1-0 in midweek.

Jurgen Klopp’s men kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win over Ajax in Amsterdam, then beat Midtjylland 2-0 at Anfield, and thumped Atalanta 5-0 in Italy.

A shock 2-0 defeat to the Italians at Anfield left them wobbling but their success at Anfield in midweek means the second clash with Midtjylland is nothing more than a dead rubber.

The win was in large part down to the goalkeeper, too, with Caoimhin Kelleher making his Champions League debut against the Dutch giants.

Ajax had 11 shots on goal, with four on target, and Kelleher made some big saves to keep the Anfield club’s clean sheet intact.

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Curtis Jones’ goal was subsequently decisive and the goalkeeper’s performance has led to fulsome praise from those within the game.

Indeed, former Premier League manager Alex McLeish was blown away by the 22-year-old’s display after he was chosen to deputise for Alisson ahead of Adrian.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “There’s a lot of plus points for the lads that have come in, including the goalkeeper getting a shut-out on Tuesday night.

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“We know it had been cited in the past two or three years that Liverpool had goalkeeping problems and he solved that with Alisson but you’ve got to get the backup right, at some stage Alisson’s not going to play and to be fair to the goalkeeper on Tuesday, he’s got a plus point, a gold star for getting a shut-out.

“He’s not a household name but for him to go in there and do that, he will be – I’m sure a lot of people know his name today.

“Klopp will be so relieved to get through to the next stage without any fuss now, without throwing in one of his big guns when they need much-needed rest and much-needed medical attention.”

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

Kelleher has made himself an option.

The goalkeeper kept a creditable clean sheet and his performance has only sharpened the focus on Adrian’s recent mistakes.

The former West Ham United goalkeeper has only played twice in the Premier League this season but he’s conceded nine times, including seven in one game against Aston Villa.

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Kelleher may be a more attractive option just by virtue of not having done that.

He’s young, mouldable, and will surely be improving just by playing alongside Alisson in training.

Klopp ought to make him his permanent No.2.

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