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Liverpool's Caoimhin Kelleher sends Wolves message to Jurgen Klopp after Ajax heroics

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Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is hoping his impressive Champions League debut will earn him a starting spot in the Premier League for the defending champions this weekend. The 22-year-old was in fine form as he kept Ajax at bay in the Reds’ 1-0 win at Anfield. 

Kelleher, who joined Liverpool’s academy in 2015, had only previously made four senior appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup respectively. 

However, with first choice Alisson Becker ruled out with a hamstring injury, the Liverpool manager opted to give the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international his first Champions League start ahead of his recognised back up keeper Adrian. 

The manager’s gamble paid off as the youngster kept a clean sheet in a hard-fought win over the Dutch champions as Liverpool sealed their place in the last 16 of the competition. 

Kelleher even pulled off a miraculous point blank save from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to preserve his side’s narrow advantage late on.

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With Alisson set to miss Liverpool’s clash with Wolves next and the final Champions League group match against Midtyjlland next week, Kelleher is hoping to retain the number one jersey in the Brazilian’s absence. 

“I'm just working hard every day in training, preparing myself,” he told the club’s website after the game. “I'm always thinking if a chance does come, I'll have to be ready for it. So that's why I work every day and thankfully all that work did pay off.

“That's all I can do. When I get my opportunity, I just need to take it. I think I've done well tonight, so hopefully I can push on and if I get another opportunity, just take it again.”

Following the final whistle against Ajax, Klopp made a point of sprinting from the touchline to congratulate and embrace his young keeper.


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Speaking afterwards, the Liverpool boss was full of praise for Kelleher’s performance.

"I really think Adrian did an incredible job when he came in last season - the Super Cup final, the Champions League - he played everywhere," he said.

"But now in this game we needed the football-playing ability of Caoimhin and because he's a really good shot-stopper as well we made that decision.

"But we never know. They're all calm in the moment when they get the information but it is different to be there on the pitch and I'm really happy how he did and how calm he was and how good he was."

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