HomePREMIER LEAGUEVirgil van Dijk's new teammate could be ready to provide Liverpool with...

Virgil van Dijk’s new teammate could be ready to provide Liverpool with an answer to their $25 million transfer dilemma.


Virgil van Dijk’s new teammate could be ready to provide Liverpool with an answer to their $25 million transfer dilemma.

Caoimhn Kelleher, Liverpool’s cult hero goalkeeper, is expected to leave the club this summer. A Virgil van Dijk teammate could be a low-cost replacement.

Liverpool fans will be disappointed to see Caoimhn Kelleher leave Anfield this summer if he does leave the club as expected. However, a ready-made replacement for the Reds’ cult hero may already be well-known to one current star.

There aren’t many players who have played less than 25 games for Liverpool and written their names into Anfield lore, but Irish goalkeeper Kelleher’s heroics in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea last year will live long in the memory. The popular goalkeeper scored the decisive penalty in the shootout, sending the Reds to victory at Wembley, and was one of Liverpool’s best performers on the day.

Of course, the 24-year-old has found his game time limited, and given that he has only started four Premier League games in the last three years and has yet to play in the league this season, a parting of ways seems only fair to allow the talented goalkeeper to find regular first-team football. Kelleher, who has proven to be a more than capable understudy to Alisson Becker — holding the record for the most penalty shootout wins in Liverpool history with four — is expected to leave in the summer, according to football transfer expert Jacque Talbot.

With this in mind, it would not be surprising to see Liverpool sign another goalkeeper in the upcoming transfer window, given that third-choice Adrián has only made two appearances in two seasons and will be out of contract at the end of the season. The Reds appear to need to invest in this position, with the $25 million (£20 million/€23 million) being sought for Kelleher potentially providing a kitty for Klopp to reinvest in a new recruit.

In this vein, Liverpool’s reported interest in Anderlecht goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen makes sense, with Belgian media outlet Voetbal Nieuws reporting that the Reds are considering a record-breaking move for the highly-rated 20-year-old. According to them, the starlet — who has just been called up to the Netherlands national team squad, where he will play alongside Virgil van Dijk — would be available for around $14 million (€13 million/ £11.5 million), a record fee for a Jupiler Pro League goalkeeper.

There is no doubt that the 6ft3 talent has been one of the Belgian giants’ best performers this season, with the Bruges club currently languishing in ninth place in the table after a disappointing season. Despite this, Verbruggen has been one of the best shot-stoppers in the Jupiler Pro League this season, with the highest save percentage in the Belgian top flight at 77%.

Like Kelleher, the Dutchman has developed a reputation as a penalty shootout specialist in recent years, with his heroics helping his club reach the Europa Conference League quarter-finals after an incredible three saves against Ludogorets. Given that the majority of Verbruggen’s minutes would be in cup competitions if he were to replace Alisson, this would be especially encouraging.

Stylistically, the youngster fits the bill for what would be expected of him in a Jürgen Klopp side, with his ability to play as a sweeper keeper, shot-stopping ability, and excellent distribution likely to entice suitors like Liverpool. According to his goalkeeping coach Frank Boeckx, as reported by Voetbal Nieuws, here is what Verbruggen should expect: “Bart has an incredible work ethic, is mentally strong, and is already very mature.” He has exceptional vision and ability to execute both short and long passes.”

Liverpool will undoubtedly be active in the transfer market this summer, with a number of departures likely to be offset by new arrivals in a variety of positions. Kelleher’s impact at Anfield should be proof enough that the Reds should prioritize investing in a good backup goalkeeper in the next transfer window.

Virgil van Dijk’s new teammate could be ready to provide Liverpool with an answer to their $25 million transfer dilemma.

Follow us


Most Popular