‘Liverpool can’t complain about Adrian’ – Reds’ goalkeeping coach salutes Alisson’s cover star

Adrian Liverpool 2019-20
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John Achterberg has been impressed by the performances of a man snapped up from West Ham and thrown straight in at the deep after arriving at Anfield

Liverpool have “not been able to complain much at all” about stand-in goalkeeper Adrian, says coach John Achterberg, with the Spaniard doing a fine job of covering for the injured Alisson.

Summer signing Adrian, who was snapped up on a free from West Ham, was thrown straight in at the deep end following his arrival at Anfield.

On the opening weekend of the Premier League season, Brazil international Alisson suffered an untimely injury against Norwich.

Adrian stepped in and has been a key part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans ever since, helping to maintain a run of successive top-flight wins and sealing UEFA Super Cup success along the way.

There has been the odd wobble from the 32-year-old custodian, most notably during a trip to Southampton, but Liverpool are happy with how seamlessly what could have been a major problem between the posts has been resolved.

Goalkeeping coach Achterberg told the Liverpool Echo of Adrian: "He had to come in from West Ham and he had to settle quickly.

"Everything he has done so far has been really good, we have not been able to complain much at all. It's a different style of play, with West Ham he had to kick the ball long 90 per cent of the time, but we ask him to be calm on the ball and play out from the back.

"To be fair, he has picked it up really quickly. He has adapted fast, even though he had a lot of experience playing in the Premier League.

"It has helped him a lot to settle quickly. He is a calm and confident guy but also a really good guy. He fits in well, I would say. Big credit to him and what he has done. It has been really good, so we cannot complain."

Andy Lonergan Liverpool 2019-20

Adrian was not the only shot-stopper drafted in by Liverpool as their ranks were depleted by injury and the departure of Simon Mignolet.

Andy Lonergan was also acquired, but the 35-year-old is only working on a short-term deal.

"Lonergan has come in to do this job because of the injury," said Achterberg.

"He has done a good job and he works really hard every day. That is a good step for us this year. We will have to look at the end of the season to decide what we will do."

Caoimhin Kelleher Liverpool 2018-19

It is unlikely that fresh terms will be tabled as Liverpool have high hopes for 20-year-old Irishman Caoimhin Kelleher – who recently made his senior debut in a Carabao Cup clash with MK Dons.

"I was proud and happy for him because he shows every day in training his speed and reactions," Actherberg added.

"That is why he is in the Irish squad and they thought that he can give the No.1 in Ireland big competition but he needs to play games to show.

"By making this appearance [against MK Dons] he can make big strides and steps. He reads the game and plays well with his feet for Liverpool. But he shot-stopping and his reactions is massive for any club, I would say. This is where he is good and it is what he showed against MK Dons.

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"He can keep making the next steps and how far he goes is how he can producing these displays on the field because that is where you are going to be assessed. In my opinion, he can be anything. It depends how he develops.

"In an ideal world you have three top goalkeepers but maybe at third choice you have an experienced keeper or a young talented boy who can step up.

"There are two talented boys at the academy but they are still some way off. Vitezslav Jaros and Jakub Ojrzynski, they still have to improve to get to the level of first team."