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What’s next for Adrian and Darren Randolph with Joe Hart in Goal?

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Someone has to go, and it won’t be Joe

Swansea City v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

With the signing of Joe Hart on a year-long loan deal, West Ham now have three goalkeepers on the books. Someone has to go. We’re looking at the options facing the incumbent keepers: Darren Randolph and Adrian.

It’s Time to Sell Darren Randolph

With both Adrian and Randolph aged 30 and only one goalie spot on the bench, it’s doubtful either player will be happy with a place in the reserve team. Especially for Randolph, who remains the Republic of Ireland’s first-choice goalie, he would want to guarantee regular first-team football to maintain his place.

The Irish international joined the club from Birmingham City in Summer 2015 after his contract expired. He mainly featured in the cup competitions that first season as Adrian retained his spot as the favoured goalie.

Randolph was the de facto number one last season, playing 22 league games for the Hammers compared to Adrian’s 16. He took the leading position after Adrian was dropped following a blunder against Stoke City in November.

During his appearances Randolph was shaky and made a number of costly errors which caused Bilic to once more lose faith. In January, West Ham were reported to be interested in Chelsea backup, Asmir Begovic. Many fans blamed Randolph for toothless Sunderland’s 2-2 draw against the Irons in April.

Now is the time to sell Randolph, he isn’t getting any younger and there are likely to be several clubs interested in the current Ireland #1. His stock won’t increase from here, so let’s sell somewhat high.

Serbia v Republic of Ireland - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Adrian Heads Back to the Bench

Adrian has been a loyal servant to West Ham United since he joined in June 2013 as the replacement for Jussi Jääskeläinen. During his 123 appearances for the club, the Spaniard captured Hammer hearts with a number of spirited performances.

Chiefly, scoring the deciding spot kick in a penalty shootout with Everton in the FA Cup. I was at that game. You could feel the drama as Adrian removed his gloves to strike the decisive blow and win the shootout 9-8. It was my favourite Upton Park moment and the first time I ever saw the Irons win a shootout. Unforgettable.

Unfortunately, Adrian is likely to command a lesser transfer fee than Randolph - despite being the better player. Randolph has cache from his international career, which far overshadows Adrian, who has never appeared for his national side.

Next season I’d rather have the reliable Adrian on the bench behind Hart. Meanwhile, the club can focus on developing the highly rated Nathan Trott through the youth system. Trott’s England Under-19 side recently won the UEFA U19 European Championship, the future is bright indeed.

The arrival of Joe Hart should regenerate a position that West Ham have had quiet desperation for the past season. If the club can make the deal permanent after this season, we have granted some much needed stability.