'Huge' - Exclusive: Paul Robinson lauds Klopp for decision on rarely-seen Liverpool youngster
Paul Robinson has lauded Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for handing young goalkeeper Caiomhin Kelleher a rare taste of first-team action in the League Cup last week.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Tottenham and England goalkeeper says that it shows how highly rated the 20-year-old is at Anfield to have been given a chance during the 5-5 draw against Arsenal.
Kelleher, whose two first-team appearances have both come in the League Cup this season, was chosen ahead of Alisson and Adrian to play against the Gunners, keeping out Dani Ceballos’ penalty to help secure victory in a shoot-out.
Robinson insists his rare start shows he is well thought of by Klopp and says it was expert management from the German to get the youngster ready for the possibility of playing in high-pressure games in the future.
Robinson told Football Insider: “Obviously the manager rates him, he’s got Adrian there but he’s played a lot with Alisson being out injured. The manager obviously thought, in keeping with the rest of the youngsters, he thought it would be good to give him a game.
“It’s a huge pat on the back for him and shows what the manager thinks of him and it’s very good man-management actually because should one of the first-choice two goalkeepers get injured, he’s there, he’s got a little bit of experience.
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“The likelihood of both of your goalkeepers getting injured is highly unlikely but should he been needed to play in an important game, he’s done it now. I suspect he might even play him in the next round after the draw they’ve got.”
Kelleher, who was born in Cork but has been part of Liverpool since 2015, made his senior debut against MK Dons earlier in the campaign, while he was also a regular among the substitutes in the Premier League with Alisson out through injury.
Liverpool’s next League Cup tie sees them play Aston Villa in the quarter-finals, with Klopp’s men set to play a Club World Cup game less than 24 hours later in December.