Spanish ace Alberto Moreno recently spoke about being unhappy sitting on Liverpool’s bench for most of the current season and it looks like Kelly could be his long-term replacement at Anfield.
But who is this new name doing the rounds on the Merseyside? Is he a player that can impress Klopp?
Born and brought up in Bristol, Kelly joined the academy at Ashton Gate in 2011 as a 13-year old. He was promoted in 2017, making 11 Championship appearances in his first season with the senior side.
Starting his career as a left-back, the youngster has already shown his class across the backline and is currently regarded as one of the most impressive players under Lee Johnson at the moment.
Strengths and Weaknesses
He has 23 appearances for his club already this season, scoring a goal in this time and has been a mainstay in the first team. Though predominantly a left-back, Kelly has also been impressive playing as a centre-back on the left-side of Bristol’s back line and is a utility player who has a bright future ahead of him.
Known for his pace and ability to dribble past opponents with ease on the wing, Kelly is a decent crosser but is more often than not, happy to try and create chances by getting beyond the backline and pulling it back into dangerous areas.
Kelly is swift over the ground and is hard to mark in the final third but what makes him that much more impressive is his ability to read the game and break up play at the back.
The 20-year old is decent in the air, can keep up with the quickest of wingers and has hardly ever made a mistake that has led to a goal. He may not be the strongest player around but the way he handles physical battles in the Championship shows his quality.
Kelly does need a calm head around him to remind him of his defensive responsibilities but at just 20, he is certainly a star for the future and could be a huge addition for the Reds.
Opportunities and Threats
Having already acted as the skipper for the Bristol Under-20 side, Kelly is now an important part of the first team and will only become better the more time he gets on the field.
At his age, he needs all the action that he can get to stay on top of his game, which might not be the case in Liverpool red. But a move to the Premier League is a step in the right direction, and a step he needs to take sooner or later in his career.
The path to the first team at Anfield is blocked by Andrew Robertson, arguably the most consistent full-back in the league this season. But Liverpool have an unsettled Alberto Moreno as his backup, who might have to be replaced before the end of this year.
The Spaniard has already been linked with an exit this January and bringing Kelly in will certainly help the Reds shore up their left-back department.
If Kelly is ready for first team action in the top tier of English football is a question only time can answer but one thing is certain – Klopp will give him the chance to prove himself if the German believes that he has the quality to be a first-team star for Liverpool in the future.
He may not be ready to take Robertson’s place in the first team any time soon but Kelly certainly is a player who has the potential to claim that spot in the near future.