When Slaven Bilic replaced Adrián back in November after it seemed that the 30-year-old had grown complacent, it effectively made super-backup Darren Randolph the starter. Apparently the gaffer hasn’t even glanced in the rear view mirror, as we haven’t seen Adrián in months. While the Spaniard had a couple of poor performances early in the season, a lot of fans were—and still are—questioning why the rug was pulled out from under him so quickly. Adrián has played very consistently for the Hammers over his four seasons with the club, but it just seemed that something changed for Adrián between this season and last, with several glaringly dramatic mistakes early on that put West Ham in the possible relegation discussion. It surely didn’t help Adrián that the team was playing much less cohesively thanks to what we now know was the poor attitude of Dimitri Payet. Randolph took over the starting role and started tearing it up between the sticks, and since then all has seemed well.
With West Ham out of any and all extracurricular play after losing phenomenally to Manchester City in the FA Cup, it didn’t seem that Adrián would be making any more appearances this season. Randolph had been commanding the defense pretty well until recently, but what goes around comes around, and it now seems like Randolph has fallen into the same trap that Adrián did, becoming complacent and letting in a couple of clangers that should have been easy stops, causing West Ham to lose out on very important points for the league table. This has caused the case for Adrián as starter to catch fire once again.
With rumors flying about that the Hammers could be planning a move for Joe Hart this summer, it seemed Adrián’s time at the club was limited. His contract was up after the season, but maybe Slav and Co. have a plan for the Spaniard after all, as it’s been recently reported by a top source that West Ham plan on activating a clause that will keep him at the club for another year.
With Randolph’s recent drop in form, we could even see Adrián make his first Premier League start since November against Watford. In terms of leadership, Adrián has Randolph beat, and it wouldn’t hurt to get the Spaniard back out there in goal to help try and patch up West Ham’s leaky defense.
If he can’t play between the sticks, we could always just give him a shot at playing up top as a striker.