Adrian has plummeted down the Liverpool pecking order and is set to remain there following Caoimhin Kelleher’s assured Champions League debut in midweek.
Jurgen Klopp pulled off something off a surprise by selecting the 22-year-old ahead of the previous number two Adrian for Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Ajax after first choice Allison suffered a hamstring injury in training.
The Brazilian is not expected to recover in time for Sunday’s Premier League clash against Wolves at Anfield.
But there is little hope of a recall for Adrian even though he started the last league match Alisson missed, the 2-2 draw against Everton in mid-October.
Kelleher is set to become the permanent deputy goalkeeper after Klopp’s faith in the youngster was rewarded with a confident display.
Klopp suggested afterwards he plumped for the Irishman because of his greater ball-playing abilities, although he was careful to praise Adrian for stepping up in the past.
Privately, the Liverpool manager is less effusive of the Spaniard.
A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that Klopp not only does not trust Adrian’s distribution under pressure but also his ability to pull off key saves.
In the Merseysiders’ playing style it is vital the keeper is calm and confident in possession, and able to make quick, slick passes under pressure and in difficult areas.
The evidence against Adrian was unflattering after his performances in his last three Champions League and Premier League matches – against Everton, the humiliating 7-2 thrashing against Aston Villa and the 3-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in March.
Xg, the data metric that measures expected goals, states Adrian should have conceded 1.52, 3.17 and 1.92 goals in those matches instead of 2, 7 and 3.
That is a damning indictment of Adrian’s reliability, and coupled with his hesitant and indecisive distribution, was key to Klopp putting his faith in the younger man.
Not that there had been any selection hints in the previous weeks.
Indeed, Adrian and not Kelleher has been on the bench for each of the five Premier League and three Champions League matches that preceded the Ajax clash.
The Cork-born youngster’s previous four first-team appearances had all come in domestic cup competitions and he had only been on the bench this season when Alisson was absent.
It is now likely Kelleher will make his sixth senior appearance this weekend against Nuno’s consistently high-performing Wolves.
It could be some time before Adrian plays for Liverpool again.