Liverpool must persevere with Adrian despite his mistake against Aston Villa, according to former Reds goalkeepers Tony Warner and Chris Kirkland.
With No. 1 Alisson out with a shoulder injury, Adrian was handed the gloves for the trip to Villa Park and his error of judgment handed the hosts the opener.
Villa went on to thrash the Premier League champions 7-2, raising serious questions about Liverpool’s defensive capabilities and Adrian’s suitability to be back-up goalkeeper.
The Spaniard also made costly errors as the Reds crashed out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage in March. But Warner – who spent five years on Liverpool’s books without making an appearance – believes Adrian proved his worth as the majority of his displays were impressive last season.
“No one would have expected Alisson to get another bad injury so essentially you would have been trying to sign someone who has been playing regularly and doing really well elsewhere and is willing to give that up to be a squad player.
“It doesn’t happen often. The best example I can think of is when Asmir Begovic, an established Premier League keeper, went from Stoke to Chelsea as back-up to Thibaut Courtois.
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“You’ve also got to factor in the pressure and expectation that comes with playing for Liverpool which is different to most other clubs.
“The style of Klopp’s team with the high lines that makes things more difficult for the keeper, who is involved so much with the ball at his feet. Adrian did a decent job for the most part last season. It would be wrong to write him off.”
Liverpool have been linked with moves for Stoke’s Jack Butland and Watford’s Ben Foster before the domestic deadline on Friday afternoon.
But Kirkland – who made 45 appearances for Liverpool – echoed Warner’s comments and said he was not surprised the Reds have not yet moved for another goalkeeper.
Do you agree with Warner and Kirkland, or should Liverpool have signed a new back-up ‘keeper? Have your say here.
“I wasn’t surprised Liverpool didn’t sign another keeper this summer,” he said. “Their record with Adrian in the team was very good last season.
“He produced a lot of good performances and proved he’s good enough, despite what happened against Atletico and Villa.
“I know Liverpool also have high hopes for [Caoimhin] Kelleher so it will be interesting to see what happens with him.
“Working with Alisson and [John] Achterberg, it doesn’t get much better than that for a young keeper – but the time has to be right to throw a young keeper in.
“Life as a keeper is all about responding to setbacks and that’s what Adrian has to do now. It’s hard not to stew on things.
“When I was in England squads with David Seaman I used to ask him how he got over mistakes. He said the best keepers around have the ability to accept it, put it behind them quickly and refocus.”
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