After what must have felt like years for Liverpool fans, Adam Lallana has finally arrived at Anfield in a £25million deal after an extremely impressive season with Southampton last year.
Lallana is the Reds’ second summer signing, following former team-mate Rickie Lambert to Merseyside in what must be an exciting season ahead for Liverpool.
But while fans rejoice at a major coup, how much more can Lallana offer the Liverpool team? Is he the man that can make the Anfield faithful forget about the departing Luis Suarez?
Here are FIVE REASONS to get excited about new Liverpool signing Adam Lallana.
It wasn’t too long ago that the now England international was playing in the third tier of English football… only four years.
In his last season in League One, Lallana scored 11 goals to promote Southampton into the Championship, which also saw him bag the League One Player of the Year.
He continued his promotion displays as Southampton took the Championship by storm and received a second consecutive promotion to finally end up back in the Premier League. Lallana was again essential, earning the club Player of the Year and named in the Championship XI.
But while many fall short when reaching the English top flight, Lallana developed during his first Premier League season and in his latest campaign was impressive enough to earn himself a seat on the England plane as well as in the Premier League XI.
Now in the Champions League? It won’t be surprising if he can up his game to challenge the European Elite.
Although defence was one of Liverpool’s shortcomings in the title race last season, it was also the squad’s lack of depth which saw them unable to cope with crunch fixtures when compared to the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea. And with the Reds now also competing in the Champions League, Lallana’s versatility is a huge bonus.
The attacking midfielder can pretty much play anywhere in midfield, operating regularly at either the flanks or as the central playmaker. He is capable of being pushed forward as a winger, and has even on occasion played almost as a defensive midfielder.
But while many suffer playing out of position, Lallana has looked comfortable wherever utilized and is a coach’s dream. His versatility therefore makes a good chunk of his expensive £25million price tag.
Lallana is a prime example of paying a premium for English talent. But he’s a good versatile player who BR will enjoy working with #LFC
— Stephen Skillen (@sskillen1) July 1, 2014
Although his ‘Fantasy Football’ stats would suggest otherwise, Adam Lallana is one of the most hardworking players in the Premier League at his position. The Englishman doesn’t lose the ball often, but when he does Lallana tracks back without sulking at being dispossessed.
Last season Liverpool fans have hailed Jordan Henderson as a player with endless energy, giving it all in every game in which the he covered an impressive total of 359 km.
Adam Lallana, known for his silky dribbling and intricate passing, covered 357 km. Not only are Liverpool purchasing a strong attacking player, but one that also helps defensively.
Lallana’s call up to the England set up this summer will play a massive part in his performance for the Reds next season. His inclusion was the perfect chance to get a head start in knowing his team-mates, as most of the Three Lions happen to be Liverpool players.
Captain Steven Gerrard, striker Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, and even Glen Johnson will now have met and trained with Lallana, giving the 26-year-old a slight head start when linking up with his new team-mates.
But more importantly he has Rickie Lambert at Anfield, who he has been playing with at Southampton since 2009. With Suarez now on a long four-month ban, it would mean Lambert could easily start and their understanding which has served so well for the Saints could bear fruit this time for the Reds.
Nothing is more important than goals in football. Strikers get paid millions to put the ball into the back of the net but when you have a midfielder that contributes as well, then you have an elite squad capable of challenging the very best.
If his midfield attributes of chance creation (68 total last season, 1 more than Gerrard) and defensive contribution isn’t already enough to value his price tag, then his nine goals in the Premier League for Southampton is. Tap-ins, long-shots, headers… Lallana is capable of scoring all kinds.
And don’t let the three goals in his first Premier League season fool you, Lallana has been banging them in for quite some time.
During the 2009-2010 season in League 1, Lallana scored 20 goals to become the first Southampton player to do so since the great Matt le Tissier. And from that point on he hasn’t stop developing into a world-class midfielder.
Expect him to score some goals next season, and then his £25million price-tag would feel like peanuts.