Following on from West Ham’s impressive capture of England number one Joe Hart on loan for the upcoming Premier League season, it has started a replacement process in the goalkeeping position as Darren Randolph has left for Middlesborough for £5 million.
Hart will unquestionably be made first choice at London Stadium, leaving Adrian as second choice which will unsurprisingly not be his preference. This has already sparked interest across the league with Palace and Newcastle being linked to the Spanish shot-stopper. A fee of £7million has been rumoured to acquire him, though if West Ham were to sell Adrian it would mean dropping back in to the market for a goalkeeper to replace him.
The rumoured names to replace him are Karl Darlow from Newcastle who could be used in a deal involving Adrian, which could work for both parties. Darlow is a established keeper who kept 13 clean sheets in 34 games in the Championship last season.
Another target of the Hammers is Brentford’s David Bentley – who claimed 13 clean sheets in the Championship in 47 appearances. At 24 years old has plenty of time to grow and would learn a lot from Hart who is a seasoned veteran in comparison to Bentley. Bilic will be aware he requires a capable deputy between the sticks, both Darlow and Bentley potentially offer this mix of promise and proven talent.
There has also been reports of West Ham looking too bring Robert Green back to London, who has not let his advanced years get to him and kept 15 clean sheets last season in 45 appearances for an impressive Leeds side that almost reached the play-offs. Green could be set to replace Adrian for the Hammers.
Any of these would be more then capable back ups to Hart although one would hope a younger option is taken so that a situation does not repeat itself next summer. Hope and expectation is high for the Hammers following the capture of Hart, Zabaleta, Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez, though the question remains as to who will be deputising the GK position for West Ham next season. Darlow? Bentley? Green?
Only time will tell.
Written by Henry Tomlinson.