Monday 20 January 2020

Klopp wastes no time bringing in Adrian to replace Mignolet

New Red: Adrian San Miguel
New Red: Adrian San Miguel

Liverpool have signed former West Ham goalkeeper Adrian following the departure of Simon Mignolet.

The Champions League winners announced yesterday that Mignolet had left them for Belgian outfit Club Brugge in a deal worth an initial £6.4million.

That was soon followed by news that Adrian, who was available on a free transfer after leaving the Hammers at the end of last season, had been brought to Anfield as his replacement.

Adrian, 32, will provide back-up to first choice Alisson Becker.

Mignolet, who fulfilled that role last season, departed in search of regular first-team action.

The Belgian was former manager Brendan Rodgers' number one after arriving from Sunderland in 2013, but fell out of favour under Jurgen Klopp.

He first lost his place to Loris Karius and then to Alisson following the £65million signing of the Brazilian, then a world record for a goalkeeper, in 2018.

Mignolet made just two cup appearances for the Reds last season and was an unused substitute against Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday.

He flew to Belgium after the game at Wembley to complete his move. Klopp had wanted to keep him but eventually granted him his wish to leave.

Mignolet wrote on Twitter: "After more than six special years at Liverpool, the time has come to say goodbye. It's been an incredible honour to represent one of the biggest clubs in the world and to achieve things that few players ever manage to achieve.

"It's been a great ride. There have been ups, downs and everything in between, but I'll always look on my time at Anfield with fondness. I have no regrets. I've given my all and I've always done my best to wear the shirt with pride, and to represent the club with dignity and professionalism.

"Once part of the family, always part of the family. Deep inside I'll always be a Red."

Liverpool wasted no time after his exit by moving to tie up a deal with Adrian ahead of Friday's Premier League opener against Norwich. The former Real Betis keeper made 150 appearances for West Ham in six years.

Adrian told the club's website: "I'm feeling really happy, really happy to be here and to work in this great club and start doing my stuff on the pitch as soon as possible."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson insists Klopp's judgement in the transfer market should not be questioned.

Apart from Adrian, the Reds have added just youngsters Sepp Van Den Berg and Harvey Elliott to the squad.

There has been criticism of Klopp for not making a significant signing in order to help his side's quest for a first domestic title since 1990, but Henderson said that was unwarranted.

"If the manager hasn't signed anyone then he knows better than everyone else," said Henderson.

"I think we've got a fantastic squad of players, we've showed that. We can use everybody, we've got big players (Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) coming back from long-term injuries, which is like new signings as the manager says.

"We believe we've got a strong group in the changing room, a strong team, and we've just got to keep learning, keep improving on the training pitch."

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