With Jussi Jaaskelainen approaching his forties, West Ham United were expected to move for some goalkeeping reinforcement this summer, even on the back of the Finnish international’s impressive season at Upton Park.
And so it has proved, with the Hammers announcing the free transfer of Real Betis ‘keeper Adrian on a three-year deal.
Here are five things you should know about the player:
1) Adrian San Miguel del Castillo is a 26-year-old Spaniard who has been with La Liga side Real Betis since the age of 10.
2) After spending his first five senior seasons playing for the club’s reserve team, last year saw his breakthrough, when rival ‘keeper Casto was sent off in a match against Manuel Pellegrini’s Malaga. From that moment on, Adrian didn’t look back, making 31 league apperances and keeping 11 clean sheets.
3) Adrian’s most notable performance to date came in Betis’s 1-0 home win over Real Madrid, after which the stopper was named man-of-the-match. He was awarded the same plaudit in Betis’s 0-0 draw with Getafe in April.
4) The 6ft 3in ‘keeper has a similar backstory to that of Manchester City’s new arrival Jesus Navas, in that his entire career to date has been with his hometown club. But while the Malaga winger has been blighted by homesickness in the past, Adrian seems like he can’t wait to get started. “I am extremely happy and ecstatic to have joined such a legendary and historical club in both London and England,” he said.
5) Adrian’s main areas of strength are his reflexes and ability to save long shots. It has been cited that he needs to work on his concentration to reach the next level. Under Sam Allardyce, you sense he won’t have that problem for long.
So what do you think? Will Adrian prove to be a good signing for the Hammers?
image: © cedric ramirez