Virgil van Dijk was full of praise for one man who came in at short notice, to provide a brilliant performance at Stamford Bridge.
Caoimhin Kelleher was asked to fill the place of COVID-stricken Alisson Becker and did so with a solid showing against Chelsea, on a day where his performance illustrated his promotion to second-choice ‘keeper.
The young Irish stopper’s performance certainly impressed the Dutch captain, who took to the media after the game to praise his teammate.
The 30-year-old said: “I’m quite a big fan of him. He is a fantastic goalkeeper.
“He is learning from the best, in my opinion, with Alisson.
“His presence is good, he is confident on the ball and he is making good saves as well.
“That’s good and we need him right now because of obviously the COVID cases.
“Unfortunately, we conceded two but the first one he can’t really do anything about it. We need him for the next games as well”.
Still only 23-years-old, our stand-in goalkeeper has so much time on his hands to learn from the likes of our Alisson, John Achterberg, Claudio Taffarel and from his first-hand experience with the first-team.
Given the illness of our Brazilian stopper and the cup games coming up, this will be a great chance for the young man from Cork to impress further.
You can watch van Dijk’s comments on Kelleher courtesy of Sky Sports (via @footballdaily):
🗣 “I’m a big fan of him, he’s learning from the best with Alisson.”
Virgil van Dijk credits the job that Caoimhin Kelleher has done replacing Alisson Becker in goal pic.twitter.com/BeYZGdgZyN
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 2, 2022