Manuel Pellegrini is convinced West Ham back-up goalkeeper Roberto is “better” than Liverpool star Adrian.

That is the verdict of ex-Leeds United and Coventry City striker Noel Whelan as he assessed the Hammers keeper options following the shattering injury to Lukasz Fabianski.

Spaniard Roberto, signed by West Ham in the summer on a free after Adrian allowed to leave when his contract expired in June, is now set for an extended run in goal.

Adrian was subsequently signed by Liverpool as understudy to Alisson and an injury to the Brazilian has handed the Spaniard an extended opportunity in goal.

He has started nine consecutive matches for the Champions League holders and won over supporters of the club with the quality of his performances.

“Pellegrini allowed Adrian to go and brought in Roberto to replace him,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Clearly, Pellegrini thnks Roberto is a better option for him.

“Maybe Adrian wanted to go and be a number one, but he would not be that at Liverpool unless Alisson is injured. Once he is fit again, Adrian will go back on the bench.

“He has done exceptionally well since leaving West Ham. Yes, he is playing behind an exceptional defence, but he has developed a real rapport with them.”

Football Insider broke the news yesterday that Lukasz Fabianski will be sidelined for up to three months after scans showed he tore a thigh muscle in Saturday’s draw against Bournemouth.

Roberto has made three appearances for West Ham since his arrival, two in the League Cup and his Premier League debut when he replaced Fabianski against Bournemouth after 34 minutes.

In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that the club have tabled a James Collins offer.