BBC pundit claims injured Liverpool stalwart hasn’t been missed due to one ‘world class’ performer

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Garth Crooks has suggested that Liverpool haven’t missed one of their currently injured players due to the ‘world class’ performances of a teammate.

The Reds have had to manage without first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker since the defeat to Arsenal in early February, with Caoimhin Kelleher stepping up in the meantime.

The Irishman has been immense in recent games, producing two crucial saves from Cole Palmer and Conor Gallagher in our Carabao Cup final success on Sunday and also starring in the win at Brentford the previous weekend.

Crooks selected the 25-year-old in his Team of the Week for BBC Sport, writing: “The point-blank save from Cole Palmer in the first half of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup win over Chelsea by Kelleher was not just world class – it was worthy of winning any cup final. So was his save from Conor Gallagher who was clean through at the time.

“Liverpool’s number two goalkeeper doesn’t seem to care what the occasion is; it seems you can always depend on the Republic of Ireland international. Of all the injuries sustained by Liverpool, the team have missed Alisson the least.

“Kelleher’s performance have been nothing short of outstanding, as was his form in the EFL Cup final. This is a man who remains incredibly calm often in extraordinary circumstances and tends to do all his talking between the sticks.”

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Liverpool fans may have been fearing the worst when Alisson picked up a muscle injury three weeks ago, on top of the already lengthy list of body blows within Jurgen Klopp’s squad, but Kelleher has more than made up for the Brazilian’s absence lately.

The ever-dependable Cork native has never let us down when called upon previously, and his displays against Brentford and Chelsea in particular show why he’d be an undisputed starter at the majority of Premier League clubs.

He’s been unfortunate to find himself at Anfield at the same time as arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, hence the unrelenting speculation about the 25-year-old potentially moving on to become a first-choice stopper elsewhere.

There may come a point where Kelleher finds a transfer too difficult to turn down, but if that scenario does arise, he’s certainly topping up his valuation during this current stand-in spell for Alisson, who’s set to be ruled out until after the March international break.

It’d be disastrous for most teams to be deprived of a world-class operator for that long, and we certainly hope that the 31-year-old makes a swift recovery, but at least we’re blessed with an outstanding alternative in whom we can trust in the meantime.

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