By Wayne Veysey and Pete O’Rourke
West Ham defender Aaron Cresswell played a key role in Liverpool securing the signing of goalkeeper Adrian, Football Insider understands.
The England international, 29, supplied a glowing recommendation to Anfield goalkeeping coach John Achterberg as well as the phone number of the Spaniard to help seal the deal this month.
A West Ham source has told Football Insider that Adrian, 32, agreed a two-year Liverpool deal after the London club baulked at handing him a fresh agreement on the same £50,000-a-week terms as his contract that expired in June.
The Hammers refused as they felt it was too much to pay for a deputy keeper after Adrian had lost the number one shirt to 2018 signing Lukasz Fabianski.
Liverpool took advantage of Adrian’s availability to snap him up as a free agent after he had returned to Spain following the end of his six-year spell at West Ham.
The goalkeeper has been fast-tracked into Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI after Alisson suffered a calf injury that could sideline him until October.
He is set to start against Arsenal in tonight’s Premier League showdown after featuring in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Southampton and the Super Cup triumph against Chelsea.
Klopp had instructed Achterberg to help sign a goalkeeper with extensive top-level experience and who could fit into Liverpool’s sophisticated playing style following the sale of Simon Mignolet to Club Brugge this month.
Adrian, who played 150 times for the Hammers across six seasons following his arrival from Real Betis in the summer of 2013, was recommended by a number of Achterberg’s contacts, including his own former Tranmere Rovers teammate Cresswell.