Cork-born goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher has talked up his abilities after signing a four-year deal with Liverpool earlier this year.
The 16-year-old, who has travelled to Bulgaria for the under-17 European Championships with Republic of Ireland, told the Irish Independent that he plans on becoming Liverpool’s first choice goalkeeper and that his style is similar to that of Manuel Neuer.
‘’I want to be the best and get into the [Liverpool] first team,’’ said Kelleher ahead of flying to the tournament. ‘’There is no point in going over and thinking otherwise.’’
When asked about the comparisons with Neuer, the young goalkeeper went on to add: ‘’I like the way he [Neuer] plays. He is good with his feet, the same as me because I was outfield.
‘’I like coming off my line. I think you have to do that in the modern game. It’s become a part of the goalkeeper’s game. You can keep the ball for you team rather than just kicking it away.’’
Although the goalkeeper is clearly not lacking in ambition or enthusiasm about his future, the chances of him breaking into the Reds team in the near future must be very slim, considering he is still 16 and has plenty of competition in front of him.
Nevertheless, the noise made by the youngster will be something Brendan Rodgers should hope can drive the Republic of Ireland youth international ahead of his peers in the pecking order and eventually into the first team.
Goalkeepers need to be able to show resilience and confidence in order to reach the very top level, and Neuer is a prime example of both of those traits.
The under-17 European Championships this summer will be a fantastic platform for Kelleher to showcase his potential as he will be coming up against players who are at the top of their age group.
A good tournament could see him quickly promoted to under-21 side, which he will need to be in before he can assessed for a first-team call up.