When Liverpool signed Adam Lallana back in the summer of 2014 eyebrows were raised at the 25million price tag that former boss Brendan Rodgers forked out. This was a player that had just two years experience in English footballs top flight division having played for Southampton for 8 seasons, playing in league one and the championship before Southampton were promoted to the Premier League in 2012.
Lallana was a key figure in Southampton earning back to back promotions from league one to the Premier League, he scored 8 goals in the season they were promoted to the championship from league one and scored 11 goals in the championship where they spent just the one season before reaching the so called ‘holy grail’ having fallen so far away from top level football for a number of years.
Lallana struggled to get to grips with the Premier League in the Saints first season back in the top flight and it wasn’t till the second season where he showcased his talents to the world, he scored a impressive 9 goals in the league for Southampton as they had achieved a top half of the table finish and he also got in the PFA shortlist for player of the season at the annual Premier League awards. Lallana was rewarded for his good season with a place in England’s 2014 World Cup campaign, and this prompted Liverpool to swiftly move in for him.
Liverpool paid 25million and were involved in talks with Southampton for a long time trying to negotiate a lower price but we stumped it up in the end. We signed him shortly after England’s World Cup campaign had ended but he got an injury at the before the start of the season which meant he would have to wait a while to make his Liverpool debut. In his first season at Liverpool he was a constant figure in the team but was widely criticized by Liverpool fans for not producing much end product despite the talent he so obviously had.
In his first season he struggled to make a mark with constant niggling injuries and Liverpool themselves struggling in the league and other competitions, Lallana therefore took the bear brunt of Rodgers failings for being one of the big money signings.
The second season didn’t start any better for the Reds as Lallana and Liverpool were both inconsistent but showed glimpses of their potential at the same but this led to Rodgers being sacked after the 1-1 draw with Everton and a new man coming into the club by the name of Jurgen Klopp and this united the Liverpool supporters once again.
Lallana was a name that plenty of supporters thought would be under pressure as Klopp looked to see what talent he had at the club and Lallana started Klopps first game in charge in the 0-0 draw with Tottenham, and since then has remained a constant figure in Klopp’s selections. Lallana had a similar season than his debut season where he showed glimpses but couldn’t consistently produce the goods. Klopp clearly saw something in him even when certain Liverpool fans doubted him, even I had my doubts and I was a admirer of the now 28 year old, and continually selected him and he got slowly better throughout the season.
Klopp and Lallana are actually next door neighbours showing that Klopp has a great relationship with Lallana and this was further emphasised when Klopp was asked before the Europa League final with Seville about Lallana being linked with a move to Spurs and Klopp responded with his iconic laugh and said “Ask Adam when their preseason starts”. But it isn’t till the start of this campaign where supporters are starting to believe in Lallana like Klopp always has done since the beginning.
This season Liverpool have gone with a new system and are currently playing a 4-3-3 formation instead of last seasons 4-2-3-1 formation and this means less attackers but Klopp has clearly worked with Lallana on his new position in the Liverpool side as he has started all of Liverpool’s games in the center of midfield, towards the left of the more defensively minded midfielder which has normally been Jordan Henderson this season. He lined up in this position against Arsenal and registered a goal and a assist in this game as he enjoyed one of his best games in a Liverpool shirt but went under the radar due to the games that both Coutinho and Mane had and these two took most of the praise.
Since this game he has really carried on his form, he enjoyed fantastic games against both Leicester and Tottenham and scored in the game against Leicester. His endless running has been key to his transformation this season, he ran 12.5 kilometres in the game against Tottenham which was a Premier League record for this season and he broke his own record in the game against Leicester running a impressive 13 kilometres.
Now I know what you are thinking he could just be running around like a headless chicken and that doesn’t make a player great, but he adds so much more quality to the midfield as he gets forward and joins in with attacks constantly, something that we’ve lacked for a while is attacking quality in the midfield that Henderson, Can, Lucas, Wjinaldum just aren’t known for and not what they are for either but Lallana has been like a new signing.
Lallana has registered 2 goals and a assist so far this season, just 3 goals behind his best Liverpool tally in terms of goals. He’s adding that end product that fans have wanted him from him since he signed for the club and his two goals have been well taken goals by any player’s standards, his goal against Leicester especially as he blasted it into the top left corner way out of the reach of the goalkeeper. His linkup play has been brilliant and the way he has controlled the midfield so far.
Lallana also scored his first goal for England, a last minute winner to beat Slovakia in a World Cup qualifier 1-0. The 28 year old also started all of England’s games in the last Euro campaign and was arguably the best English player potentially in a miserable Euro campaign.
Lallana has come on leaps and bounds in the last few months and he is becoming a key player for both club and country, proving Liverpool and England supporters wrong right now, but Klopp was a believer in Adam at the start and this loyalty is starting to reap rewards for all parties.