12 months ago, Adrian was arguably the most underrated goalkeeper in the entire Premier League.
The Spaniard was a key reason for why West Ham closed out their final season at Upton Park with a Top 7 finish. He was simply sublime in goal in all 38 league games thanks to a combination of outstanding shot stopping and consistent, clean handling befitting of a solid ‘keeper. It’s why he received his first call up to his country’s national team last August and was poised with the rest of the Hammers to have a memorable inaugural season at the London Stadium.
And then the shocking mistakes and unexpected bad characteristics of an inconsistent keeper arose in Adrian’s play, leading to a decline proportional with the rest of the team. The 30-year-old would eventually lose his starting spot in West Ham’s tumble into the relegation zone and force Slaven Bilic to drop him for the then ascending Darren Randolph in November.
But Randolph showed why he isn’t a firm starter at a quality Premier League side, as his mistakes and lack of steady sagacity in goal lead to Bilic giving Adrian the job back towards the end of the season. Despite showing glimpses of his top form, the damage was done for Adrian being a reliable starter for Bilic to always count on.
Current Team Placement
Now with Joe Hart brought in for at least this season to be the #1 keeper, Adrian knows that he will at least be a backup to start the season. Darren Randolph’s exit to Middlesbrough means that Bilic is keen on keeping Adrian at least as Hart’s backup. Without a doubt, despite last season’s struggles, the Real Betis developed product would certainly be among the best second choice ‘keepers in the Premier League.
But that’s if he is content to stay as Hart’s understudy. With the likes of Crystal Palace and Newcastle interested in snatching him away, it will be interesting to see if Adrian does sign a new deal to remain.
Goals For The Season
The goals vary here for both player and club. The club would love to see Adrian remain to at least be a great backup to Hart and seemingly fit into the squad if something horrendous happens to the England #1, whether injury or poor play. But Adrian will also feel that he is just as good as Hart and may feel he deserves a starting spot elsewhere.
Time will tell indeed if Adrain stays at West Ham. Because if he leaves, Bilic will certainly have to contemplate getting a replacement keeper, as Nathan Trott is not ready to be so close to playing for the senior team.