Caoimhin Kelleher is set to make his international debut for the Republic of Ireland after being named to Stephen Kenny’s 29-man squad for the March international break.
There were doubts about Kelleher’s ability to play for his country after suffering a torn stomach muscles which ruled him out of the last eight of Liverpool’s nine games.
But having been given the green light to return, Kelleher is in line to squeeze through the sticks after more than six weeks on the sidelines as Ireland are without their usual shooting stoppage.
Kenny’s side have three World Cup qualifiers to go against Serbia, Luxembourg and Qatar in March, but will be deprived of their regular number 1 to Darren Randolph due to hip and thigh issues.
And while it was likely touch and go, Kelleher has been named to the squad and is expected to get the nod over Rochdale’s Gavin Bazunu, who is on loan from Man City.
The 22-year-old rose through the ranks with his country and after finding himself elevated to second in Liverpool goalkeeper his season is now set to get a bit softer.
Kelleher has five appearances to his name for the Reds this season, which manager Kenny described as “first class” in what was a clear display of faith from the manager who also saw his development with the Under-21s. Irish years old.
It’s a timely step for the Cork native after biding his time on the bench last year, and he will no doubt be keen to impress and claim to be a more permanent fixture for his country.
And if no reaction to his return from injury is noted, it will prove to be a welcome homecoming when he returns to Liverpool for the home stretch of the season.