By James Miller – @JimmyMiller2608
Upon signing for Liverpool in a £25million deal from Southampton, playmaker Adam Lallana promised so much. As of yet, the former England international has struggled to deliver on such potential, with a cruel injury record seemingly holding him back.
Now aged 31, the chances of Lallana resurrecting his career at Anfield appear slim, especially with Jürgen Klopp preparing his side to defend their Champions League trophy.
Originally a signing under former manager Brendan Rodgers, the midfielder initially played a key role for the Reds, even after the managerial switch. Sadly though, in the past couple of seasons he has managed just 38 games in all competitions for the club, with his finest performance last season coming against Burnley in a dramatic 4-2 victory at Anfield.
Without doubt, Lallana is a player who is admired by many on Merseyside, a player who shows commitment and loyalty whenever selected, he certainly can’t be faulted on his attitude. There will, however, come a time when a decision will have to be made on whether to keep a player unfortunately restricted to game time, on the wage bill.
It goes without saying that, at the peak of his game, he can be one of the hardest players to deal with as an opposition defender. Quick feet along with superb dribbling ability often leaves his opponents struggling to regain the ball, but the consistency just isn’t there.
Assessing the Reds’ current options based on natural ability, it could easily be argued that there is space for an in-form Lallana to slot in. Many fans feel the current side is lacking a pinch of creativity, something the Bournemouth academy product brings in abundance.
So far, Klopp has moved quietly in the summer transfer market, opting to look more towards the future as things stand, sealing a coup of a deal already for Dutch prospect Sepp van den Berg. It also appears the club have successfully swooped in for the Premier League’s youngest ever debutant from Fulham, Harvey Elliot.
After allowing experienced assets Alberto Moreno and Daniel Sturridge to move on upon the expiry of the contracts, you would think that moving another mature player on to pastures new like Lallana would be unlikely in such a short space of time. Klopp has shown himself to be a patient manager in the past and has provided plenty of opportunities for players seemingly on the outskirts of the squad to impress.
A key example of such would be Divock Origi – who this week extended his contract with the club – who found his chances very much restricted in the early parts of last season, before eventually moving on to write his name in the club’s history, sealing the Reds’ sixth Champions League trophy.
Heading into pre-season, Liverpool will be hoping to call upon players such as Lallana and fan favourite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to provide good stern preparation for the 2019/20 campaign. Both featured against Tranmere Rovers and Bradford City, but will want more minutes under their belts while on the tour of the US.
Lallana will be hoping he can impact Liverpool in the upcoming season, and will look to end his goal drought which dates back to the 2016/17 season.