Yet another backup goalkeeper could be on the cards for Liverpool in the next transfer window, with one journalist “pretty sure” Adrian will be replaced.
The misfortunate of Adrian in the Reds’ 3-2 loss to Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie was symptomatic of many ‘keepers in the club’s recent history.
Like Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet before him, the Spaniard suffered due to high-profile errors, and like Karius, it cost his side the chance at another European Cup.
Reactions to Adrian‘s mistakes at Anfield were understandably fierce, and to some extent have erased the positive feeling towards the backup stopper built up earlier in the campaign.
The 33-year-old is believed to have signed a two-year deal upon his move to Liverpool in August, with the option of a further 12 months, but there have already been calls to end this after his first season.
Whether that is just or not is up for debate, as Adrian certainly did perform well in the wake of Alisson‘s calf injury, and an revisionist take was presented by the Times‘ Alyson Rudd on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement.
“If you’re going to have a go at Klopp, I would say have a go at him for not having a better backup ‘keeper,” she argued.
This is perhaps unfair, given Adrian has played more games (18) than any established Liverpool No. 2 in the past 30 seasons—discounting the 2017/18 campaign that saw Mignolet and Karius share the gloves.
But joining Rudd around the table on Sunday morning, Maddock agreed, and claimed Liverpool will likely aim to sign another backup stopper when the transfer window reopens.
“As it turns out, absolutely. He did alright early in the season, but he was a bit mixed even then,” he explained.
“I think Klopp kind of knows that perhaps that’s been a weakness of Liverpool’s. Alisson getting injured twice in a season, that’s not good.
“I think you’ll find Liverpool will, whenever they do go out and sign players—if it’s this summer [or not]—they’ll go out and sign a ‘keeper, I’m pretty sure about that.”
There should always be a caveat when assessing Adrian‘s contribution this season, as Alisson‘s two layoffs could not have been predicted—he has never missed as many games due to injury in his career.
If another backup is brought in—say, the oft-linked Trabzonspor goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir—he would surely never be expected to play as often as Adrian has this term.
It is, in many ways, a thankless task: Liverpool cannot sign a new stopper of a similar calibre to Alisson, but any replacement for Adrian would be held to the same unmatchable standards if he stepped in for these big games.