When David Moyes announced that Adrián would be in goal on Sunday against Manchester City, the big Sevillano must have thought “here we go again”.
Having been brought back into the side last season for an FA Cup tie against City, Adrián gave a good performance in that Friday night game despite being on the losing side in a five-goal defeat.
Recalled by the Hammer’s manager at the time Slaven Bilić, Adrián stepped in for the cup-tie against Pep Guardiola’s team in preference to the then first choice goalkeeper Darren Randolph.
But when Premier League action resumed the following week, Adrián once again found himself looking from the bench as Randolph took his place back between the sticks.
Now with City coming to East London as Premier League champions, David Moyes has given Adrián the jersey and told him that it’s his to keep for the rest of the season; provided he does well.
It’s a no-win situation like before. David Moyes confirmed in midweek that neither Adrián or Joe Hart’s future will be discussed until the Hammers are mathematically safe from relegation, so at the moment neither of the two really know where they stand.
Goalkeepers need consistency and they need regular games. It’s very hard to keep on top of your profession when you're in one week and out the next.
It was David Moyes predecessor, Slaven Bilić, who brought the England goalkeeper Joe Hart to West Ham United in the summer of 2017 in a surprise move that took everyone aback.
People had expected that it would be a straight fight this season between Adrián and Darren Randolph for the goalkeeping slot; but those thoughts were quickly scuppered by Joe’s arrival.
Three into two definitely doesn’t go where goalkeepers are concerned and the media wasted no time in speculating whether it would be Adrián or Darren Randolph who would move on.
As we know, the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper managed to get himself a move to Middlesbrough first; so Adrián was left as the back-up.
It was a situation the Spaniard hadn’t expected to find himself in. Joe Hart didn’t come to London to be a reserve and Adrián was left with no choice other than to persevere and fight for his place.
Despite several run-outs in the first team he found himself being relegated to the bench yet again.
To be honest, it doesn’t look brilliant for either of the two goalkeepers at the moment. Joe Hart needs to be playing in order to remain in England’s squad while Adrián, to put it bluntly, just needs to be playing.
There was talk in Spain earlier in the week about the possibility of Adrián returning to his old club Real Betis; with whom he spent his whole career before coming to Upton Park (as it was then).
There’s always talk like this whenever Adrián’s out of the team. A return to Andalucía is frequently mentioned and Betis are usually the favourites to sign him if you listen to the media.
This time, though, it might be a bit different. Betis really do need a goalkeeper at the present time; since the current first choice Antonio Adán had surgery for a pubic condition a fortnight ago and will be unlikely to return to play in the near future.
Antonio’s replacement, Dani Giménez, tore a thigh muscle on Monday night against Atlético de Madrid while making a clearance in the first half; leaving third-choice Pedro López as Betis’ only fit senior keeper.
Thinking ahead to next season, and since there’s no guarantee that once he’s fit Antonio Adán will agree terms with the club anyway; a move back to Spain might be a realistic option.
It’s been widely reported that Betis will be in the market for another goalkeeper if Antonio Adán does move on; and although several names have been mentioned including Adrián’s, we’ll have to see.
Whether Betis coach Quique Setién feels that a return to the newly-revamped Benito Villamarín would be appropriate for Adrián, only he will know.
What is clear, however, is that on Sunday Adrián will have both eyes firmly focussed on keeping out the waves of attack that tend to come when you play Manchester City.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if has one eye on the situation at Betis as well; and you can’t really blame him for that under the present circumstances.