Liverpool got their 2019/20 Premier League campaign off to an ideal start with a 4-1 win over Norwich City at Anfield. It wasn’t all good news for Jurgen Klopp’s side, however.
Alisson Becker – the team’s first-choice goalkeeper – stayed down after slipping while taking a goal-kick. He limped off minutes later in obvious discomfort.
Klopp confirmed after the game that Alisson had a calf injury and that a scan would be necessary before Liverpool knew the extent of the damage.
With almost ten minutes still remaining in the first half, new-boy Adrian was thrust into the action. The former West Ham goalkeeper was signed by the club last week to replace the outgoing Simon Mignolet.
Generally speaking, a calf injury can keep a player out for anything between three to six weeks. This means Adrian is likely to be between the sticks for The Reds until around mid-September.
This period will include, of course, Wednesday night’s UEFA Super Cup fixture with Chelsea in Turkey and at least four league games – with Arsenal’s visit to Anfield in late August the biggest of those fixtures.
With Liverpool losing out on the league title by a solitary point to Manchester City in May, it’s imperative that Adrian settles quickly into the team.
The standard set by Manchester City over the past two years, as well as Liverpool’s own level of performance last season, means that almost every game is a must-win, right from the off.
Adrian has plenty of Premier League experience having joined West Ham from Real Betis back in 2013. He was dropped from The Hammers’ starting eleven last season by Manuel Pellegrini.
Now 32, Adrian will be expected to raise his game to match that of the players in front of him over the next few weeks. Klopp and his coaching staff have a lot of extra work to do in getting the Spanish goalkeeper in tune with the back four.
As mentioned above, Alisson will probably be available for first-team action again in mid-to-late September. If Adrian can fill his shoes adequately until then, Liverpool might just still be able to keep pace with Manchester City.