Republic of Ireland and Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhín Kelleher has said he may need to move clubs to ensure regular football. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Caoimhín to leave Liverpool?

Cork Premier League star Caoimhín Kelleher has suggested that he may have to leave Liverpool in order to become a first-choice goalkeeper.

The former Ringmahon Rangers shot stopper joined Liverpool in 2015 becoming one of Jürgen Klopp’s first signings at the club.

With Klopp now gone and the highly rated Allison Becker still firmly between the sticks for Liverpool, a 25 year old Kelleher says he’s “not silly” in terms of what he needs to do to achieve his goals.

However, in the season just gone, Kelleher’s ability in front of the net became undeniable as the notched up 26 first team appearances for Liverpool, including a 14 game unbroken run while Allison was injured.

Speaking with The Athletic, Kelleher said this past season has really given him a taste for playing week in, week out.

“I want to do it all the time. My main ambition is to be a number 1,” he told the American website.

“It would be great if that happened at Liverpool, but I’m not silly. I know that Ali has been the best goalkeeper in the world for years.

“I’ve had such an amazing time at Liverpool. It’s been a crazy journey for me and one that I’ve absolutely loved. I love the club, I love the fans, and I have a great relationship with the players and the staff. Whether it’s here at Liverpool or somewhere else, I do feel the next step for me is to be a number 1.”

Under contract until 2026, Kelleher was almost tempted away from Anfield last summer only to be convinced to stay by Jürgen Klopp.

A big part of Kelleher’s desire to be a number one ‘keeper at club level is so that he can break through to the same status on the Republic of Ireland national team where Dublin stopper Gavin Bazunu had been favoured before he injured himself. Bazunu plays for Southampton who have just won promotion to the Premier League for next season.

“I love playing for my country. I’ve been fortunate to do that since I was 15 or 16,” said Kelleher.

“As a kid growing up in Ireland, the national team is the biggest thing. My ambition is to be Ireland’s number one. I want to help take us to major tournaments. That’s a big objective of mine but to really stake my claim I need to be playing week in and week out,” he added.

He's part of John O'Shea's squad announced this week to take on Hungary at home on 4 June and Portugal away on 11 June. Fellow Cork 'keeper David Harrington was also called up for the first time.