Adrian "not the man" to replace Alisson after claim Liverpool career has ended

Liverpool legend John Barnes has added his name to the growing list of those concerned that goalkeeper Adrian is not up to the task of replacing the injured Alisson at Liverpool.

After the Spaniard's own Reds teammate Marko Grujic suggested the former West Ham stopper's career was "ended" by Aston Villa's hat-trick hero Ollie Watkins last weekend, Barnes says he isn't sure that Adrian is up to the job of standing in for the injured Brazilian.

Adrian made his first Premier League start of the season in last weekend's trip to Aston Villa, where his early error gifted Watkins a goal and set the Reds en route to an embarrassing 7-2 defeat, their worst ever in the Premier League.

With Alisson having suffered a shoulder injury in training a day before that clash, the Brazilian is certain to miss next weekend's Merseyside derby and could face over a month on the sidelines.

Having signed on a free transfer last summer, Adrian came into the Liverpool side for the first eight games of the 2019/20 Premier League season, with Liverpool winning all eight matches.

Indeed, the Villa defeat was the first time he hadn't been on the winning side for Liverpool in the league on what was his 12th appearance, but following on from the error which contributed to Liverpool's Champions League exit to Atletico Madrid in March, he is now finding his status at the club scrutinised like never before.

Barnes, for one, isn't convinced by the 33-year-old.

“I think in terms of a number two goalkeeper, Adrian came in last year and did quite well when he arrived," the Reds legend told Bonus Code Bets.

"But considering he was taken on as a back-up whereas now, with Alisson injured, Liverpool is looking for someone to come in for three to four months, judging by previous performances, I’m not convinced Adrian is the man for the job.

“The loss against  Aston Villa  was hard and not only would it have knocked Adrian’s confidence but it’d also have put doubt in players’ minds if he has what it takes to help win games – at this level.

"At the end of the day, he was a free transfer, which at times, says something about a player.” 

Barnes added that the loss of Alisson will "hurt Liverpool a lot" as they seek to make a strong start to the defence of their Premier League crown.

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“Of course, Alisson is just as important as Virgil van Dijk and there’s no doubt that his absence will hurt Liverpool a lot. The question is just how much damage it’ll do," he said.

“Alisson is an incredible goalkeeper so we’re looking at massive shoes to fill, which is a problem, which became very obvious over the weekend.

“But with Alisson it’s also psychological in knowing that you have him there. Players trust him and he provides the team with a lot of stability and I think they’ll struggle to find that in a back-up goalkeeper. 

“And considering what happened against Villa, many have lost faith in Adrian, which is an issue so it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks.”

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