“I Can See the Logic Behind it” – Analysing Liverpool’s Latest Contract Decision

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If Adrián Stays, it Will Not Affect the Regeneration

Last week throughout the Liverpool fanbase, there was some confusion as to why Liverpool’s veteran third goalkeeper, Adrián, was being offered a one-year extension to his rapidly expiring contract. The former West Ham man was recently referred to as the father of the group, by his friend and teammate, Cody Gakpo. This high praise will thereby point to an important standing within the squad, one that is not always easy to replace.

As the Anfield giants continue their regeneration under new executive leadership, whilst awaiting the forthcoming head coach, Arne Slot, there will undoubtably be the need for certain lieutenants and characters within the dressing room to enable a smooth transition. This theory may be part of why the club are looking to retain a loyal servant that signed back in 2019.

Photo: IMAGO

I am not particularly one for footballing loyalty and will always hold the interests of the football club far above the wants of any single player. In this circumstance, however, I can absolutely see the logic in wanting to keep the 37-year-old stopper as part of the goalkeeping fraternity, especially given that the reds have parted ways with their goalkeeping coach, John Achterberg. It has been confirmed that Cláudio Taffarel will maintain his position in the club (as an assistant), as a key component and fellow countryman of the Brazilian, Alisson Becker.

It looks likely that another qualified coach will be put in place prior to the players returning for preseason, though it must also be noted that alongside both Joël Matip and Diogo Jota, the supposed Real Bettis target, Adrián San Miguel del Castillo, has completed the initial stages of becoming a coach himself, in acquiring the first of his UEFA badges. I suspect that given this new development, a player / coach role may be offered to the popular squad member, as the reds prepare for the inevitable sale of Caoimhin Kelleher.

How Would Adrian’s Extension Impact Liverpool’s Plans?

It is still unclear whether the former Real Betis academy graduate will accept or decline the offer of a one-year extension, issued just last week. Following the return of Michael Edwards as the new sporting CEO, as well as Richard Hughes being employed to become the new Sporting Director, everyone (including me) assumed that aging assets would be moved on to allow new energy and fresh faces to enter the stable.

After some thought and regarding the potential sale of the brilliant Irishman, Caoimhin Kelleher, it may well be that retaining the experienced keeper will only aid the training process for the number one, Alison Becker, as well as enable increased oversight to next year ‘s assumed back up keeper. There have been wide ranging reports stating that Richard Hughes is targeting Burnley ‘s current number one, James Trafford, however, there is a fair chance that the recently capped Czech Republic international, Vítězslav Jaroš, will be given an opportunity to stake a claim for that number two spot.

Photo: IMAGO

The 6-foot 3inch, 22-year-old, spent last season on loan with Austrian side Sturm Graz, where he was able to influence a title winning run for his temporary club. It would be ignorant not to have a strong look at the former Slavia Prague keeper, especially before embarking on any new signings.

For anyone worried about the non-homegrown status of Adrián, I do not see how it would be an issue for Michael Edwards and co to overcome. Upon the expiration of their contracts, both Thiago Alcântara and Joël Matip, departed at the end of the season, which immediately opened two of those valuable slots within the squad. If the former Premier League title winning keeper were to re-sign for Arnie Slots team, it may only be as a part-time coach and training ground player, who would not necessarily be registered for either the Premier or Champions League.

Whether or not he stays or goes, the contract situation of a third-choice stopper is unlikely to affect the plans that are forthcoming, as with the new decision makers in place we must now trust their better judgment and experience.

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