West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has confessed he wanted to keep hold of Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian but “different reasons” led to his eventual departure.
The Spaniard was released by the Hammers after his contract expired earlier this summer and was subsequently snapped up by Jurgen Klopp, who needed an understudy to Alisson following Simon Mignolet’s exit to Club Brugge.
Why did Adrian leave West Ham? Five things to know…
- Signed on a free transfer from Real Betis in 2013, Adrian became West Ham’s No. 1 halfway through 2013/14.
- However, following the arrival of Joe Hart in 2017, and then Lukasz Fabianski last summer, Adrian fell down the pecking order.
- As such, the Spaniard left West Ham at the end of the season, with Roberto and David Martin coming in to replace him.
- Adrian had been in talks to sign for Real Valladolid before signing for Liverpool.
- Pellegrini has now expressed disappointment that Adrian left the club.
In an unexpected twist of fate, Alisson limped off with a calf injury against Norwich City last Friday and Adrian has since been thrust into unforeseen first-team responsibility.
He conceded the Canaries’ only goal in Liverpool’s 4-1 Premier League curtain raiser, but starred in Istanbul as the Reds beat Chelsea 5-4 on penalties in Wednesday’s Super Cup after the match finished 2-2.
Speaking about Adrian’s heroics in the sudden death shootout, Pellegrini expressed his delight that the ex-Hammer shone, while admitting he never wanted to see the 32-year-old leave east London.
He said: “I’m very happy for him, because he played a lot of years here at West Ham. He’s a very good goalkeeper.
“For different reasons he couldn’t find an arrangement to continue here. We wanted him here because not only is he a good goalkeeper but he is a good player for the squad.
“He signed for Liverpool and put in a very good performance and I’m happy for him.”
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Adrian like Rocky Balboa – Klopp
In his typically buoyant mood, manager Jurgen Klopp was quick to heap praise on the stand-in ‘keeper after the match in Turkey, comparing his summer recruit to Rocky Balboa.
Speaking to BT Sport, he said: “Like Rocky after he lost against Apollo Creed I think. He kept his nerves. He is really loud in the dressing room already.
“It’s so good for him. I don’t think he’s won a lot in his life, so I’m really happy for him. It’s about winning it and we did that, so now it’s onwards.
“It was like a boxing fight, proper knocks from both sides. I think nobody in the stadium wanted extra time.
“It was really a killer, but we came through.”