Any form of transfer news is big business in football media. You only have to look at Twitter for evidence of that. But at Tomkins Times we prefer a more measured approach. Less speculation, more evaluation. Never mind who might join, how will those that do add to the Liverpool team?
Of course, that hasn’t been an easy question to answer this summer. One week ago, the Reds had only signed up two players, neither of whom is old enough yet to buy a beer in the Sandon. When Adrián put pen to paper to replace Simon Mignolet, barely an eye was batted. I pitched an article analysing him to the TTT editorial crew, and was greeted with a ‘sure, why not, it can’t hurt’.
So this article would’ve appeared regardless, but with Alisson Becker suffering an injury in Liverpool’s opening league match of 2019/20, it swiftly became apparent that the new ‘keeper would not be limited to appearances in the domestic cup competitions. Depending on how swiftly the #1 recovers, the former West Ham stopper could be in line to face Chelsea twice, Arsenal, and a couple of Champions League group stage opponents.
But how good is the Spaniard? My initial plan was to assess him against Mignolet, as I assumed he wouldn’t come close to Alisson. And he may not, but Kopites are now going to be making those comparisons regardless, as Adrián prepares for a longer run in the team than he could ever have expected.
Our quest to analyse him isn’t helped by the fact he didn’t play a single league game last season, as Manuel Pellegrini opted to go with Lukasz Fabianski. The Pole is an excellent ‘keeper, so that decision made sense, but he was also omitted in favour of Joe Hart the season before. Or at least he was, until Hart’s form made a recall inevitable, and Adrián picked up 19 league appearances in 2017/18.
We have to go back to 2014/15 to find the last campaign where he played all 38 league games. While any analysis from that far back has to be treated with caution, at least that which I found was encouraging.
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