Michael Edwards has come up trumps once again. Of late, Liverpool have been experiencing the flipside of having one of the strongest starting XIs in world: antsy backup players behind world class starters in the pecking order.
Quality role players such as Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno and at one point, Champions League hero, Divock Origi have at various times grown frustrated with the hurdles to more playing time, to various degrees agitating for moves elsewhere. Meaning that in goal, while the Reds had one of the world’s premier keepers in Alisson Becker, no. 2 Simon Mignolet had grown anxious to consistently get onto the pitch himself.
Though the Belgian performed his reduced role last season with consummate professionalism, the club decided to get ahead of any potential locker room discord and reward the Mignolet’s patience with an £8m move to Clube Brugge right before the start of the 2019-20 campaign.
However, Michael Edwards being the transfer savant he is, immediately signed ex-West Ham stopper and free agent Adrián. Not even a fortnight later, the 32-year-old was making the winning penalty save to help Liverpool lift the UEFA Super Cup.
In light of the performance by the best deputy for the injured Alisson that Reds supporters could’ve hoped for, the Spaniard’s former manager, West Ham boss Manuel Pelligrini has revealed that the player had turned down a new deal with the London club prior to joining Liverpool:
“We offered Adrian to stay here to improve his contract,” said Pellegrini. “They did not find an arrangement.
”It is difficult for me to talk about something I was not involved in. The different things why he did not continue here that you must ask him, his agent or the sporting director.
Links between the keeper and Liverpool had begun to surface as early as May, possibly even around the time extension discussions were happening at the London club.
”I am happy for him. He was always a player who was positive and committed to this club. He played a lot of years here and he is a very good goalkeeper.
”For different reasons he could not find an arrangement to continue here, but we wanted him here because he is a good goalkeeper.”