Caoimhin Kelleher has been described as "the new generation of goalkeeper" by departing Liverpool back-up Andy Lonergan, who also said the Irishman needs to leave Merseyside on loan to continue his progression.

Lonergan, 36, joined Liverpool last summer on a one-year deal and is now on the hunt for a new club after a dream 12 months which saw Jurgen Klopp's men win the Premier League and the Club World Cup.

Although the veteran stopper failed to make a senior appearance for the Reds, he was a popular and respected squad member credited with tuning up first-choice Alisson Becker and his immediate back-up Adrian in training.

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Republic of Ireland underage international Kelleher, still just 21, started four matches in cup competitions across the season.

And Lonergan, speaking to the Liverpool Echo, was full of praise for the Corkman.

"He's a brilliant keeper - he’s the new generation of goalkeeper," he said.

"I’m the old generation but he’s so fast. He’s unbelievable, he’s like a central-midfielder with the ball at his feet but he can make saves and is brave. He’s got the lot.

"The only thing he is missing is games. John [Achterberg], Jack Robinson [the goalkeeper coaches], me and Caoimhin all speak about it.

"He’s not got any experience but I know a lot of keepers with experience who aren’t as good as him. It’s a tough one for him. He needs to play games.

"I presume the plan for him is to go out on loan because no-one is getting past Ali."

Darren Randolph is currently Ireland's No 1 but there's a wave of excellent young players looking to take his jersey.

Stephen Kenny knows Kelleher from his time as Ireland Under-21 manager. The likes of Mark Travers and

Gavin Bazunu are also coming up the rails, though none have the big-game experience required to really threaten Randolph ahead of the Nations League and Euro 2020 play-off versus Slovakia, which is scheduled for the autumn.

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