Paul Robinson has told Sky Sports News (10/9, 10:22) that Jurgen Klopp should start Caoimhin Kelleher over Adrian with Alisson missing Liverpool’s trip to Leeds on Sunday.
Alisson is unable to feature at Elland Road after Fifa upheld Brazil’s request to ban their players for five-days. Sky Sports report Liverpool believe Fifa have no basis to uphold the suspension of those who Premier League clubs refused to release for international duty.
Liverpool are one of the most heavily-affected sides by Fifa imposing the ban, with Allison, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino impacted. The Reds refused to allow them to represent Brazil due to quarantine measures relating to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Alisson is such a huge, integral part of what they do,” Robinson sold. “Adrian, the first time he come in, came into a team doing exceptionally well and played well, kept clean sheets. But since then, he hasn’t looked at his best and it will be a real mess for Liverpool.
“For me, Kelleher gets the nod ahead of Adrian, I think he’s been inconsistent since he’s come in. His second and third spells in the team. Kelleher, I know, has only had two appearances in the first-team, but I think he’s got the promise of a top young goalkeeper.
“He’s only 22-years-old, and the manager trusts his young players and I don’t think he should be anything different with his goalkeepers. If Alisson isn’t to play, I’d play Kelleher without a doubt ahead of Adrian. He’s looked vulnerable from shots from distance, he’s conceded goals he shouldn’t have conceded and it’s time to give the youngster a start.”
Should Kelleher start over Adrian for Liverpool in Allison’s absence vs Leeds?
Adrian has featured 14 times in the Premier League since joining Liverpool, while Kelleher has played twice in Allison’s absence. The Republic of Ireland international made his top-flight bow deputising for the Brazilian last season. While the 34-year-old Spaniard likely to start at Leeds made three appearances during the 2020/21 campaign.
Adrian kept a clean sheet in his last Premier League outing against Sheffield United in February. But the former West Ham shot-stopper conceded nine over his appearances at Aston Villa and Everton in October. Kelleher, meanwhile, recorded a shut out on debut at home to Wolves and conceded once against Brighton in February.
Despite the disappointing result for Liverpool at home to the south coast Seagulls, Kelleher impressed in Allison and Adrian’s place. He proved he is comfortable with the ball at his feet and produced a few top saves, too. A performance he would no doubt like to build on.