Former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina appears to have played a major role in convincing Adrian to move to West Ham United in 2013.
There has been a proliferation of Spanish goalkeepers across the top European leagues. Adrian has been one of those to have established himself in the first-team of a club like West Ham. The goalkeeper was signed by the Premier League club despite having played only 32 first-team games for his Spanish club. They had undoubted faith in his talent, but it took a lot of convincing from Reina in order for the move to happen.
In the past, the Premier league has been very difficult for international goalkeepers to deal with. This is due to the plenty of long balls involved in the league. A number of teams – especially lower down the division – try to get the ball into the penalty box as soon as possible. This often leads to goalkeepers, who are used to more play on the ground in leagues like the la Liga, struggling and their confidence almost immediately. Adrian has been able to cope with this threat largely because West Ham themselves played with a long ball style under Sam Allardyce.
This may have been one of the attributes that helped Adrian improve himself. “I talked with Pepe Reina before signing. Pepe told me the football was slightly different [from that in Spain]. As a goalkeeper, you need to be alert all the time for shots from long distance. Over here, players try to score from far out. In Spain, they try to work a position closer to the box. The other thing is aerial balls. You need to be strong in your area,” said Adrain, who may be the target of big clubs if he continues in the same vein of form.