Liverpool fans are perhaps dreading the idea of watching our club in the Europa League in this campaign but it does present Jurgen Klopp a great opportunity to hand several squad players more minutes on the pitch.
After seeing Bobby Clark feature in our Under-21 side for the EFL Trophy game against Morecambe, it had cast some doubt over how weak the boss would actually go in the European tournament.
However, according to Gregg Evans for The Athletic, it seems Caoimhin Kelleher could be one man who benefits from the competition – or at the very least in our opening bout away to LASK.
It was reported: ‘The 24-year-old is in line to start this week after sitting patiently on the sidelines watching Alisson Becker, Liverpool’s tried and trusted No 1, who played all but one Premier League fixture last season. Kelleher’s solitary outing came in the final-day 4-4 draw at Southampton on May 28’.
It’s probably not the biggest surprise to see that the Irishman is likely to be our goalkeeper for the secondary tournament on the continent but there have been some strange decisions in this department in the past.
Last season saw Alisson Becker be the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup stopper, with the last tournament perhaps being the most unusual in which to see the Brazilian feature.
We know that our No.1 is the preferred option but our manager is known for giving youth a chance and seeing that the the 24-year-old has impressed so much whenever given an opportunity – you would think it wouldn’t take much convincing to allow him more minutes in lesser competitions.
His last performance saw more penalty shoot-out heroics against Derby County in the League Cup and led to our boss stating: “he is exceptional, he is absolutely exceptional” (via liverpoolfc.com) so we will be hoping for the same again this time out.
Let’s hope that the former Ringmahon Rangers youngster can take every opportunity with both hands this season and that he’s happy to remain our back-up option for many years to come.