Daniel White reviews Adam Lallana’s season and begs the question: has the Englishman done enough to earn a place in team for next season?
The start of the 2015/16 season was becoming increasingly important for a number of the staff, including a selection of players at Liverpool Football Club.
Fans were growing impatient of the inconsistencies under Brendan Rodgers and running out of excuses for newer signings that hadn’t developed or imposed their game on the team. Lovren, Allen and Origi were all players that needed to settle quickly and make an impression, especially after the departure of Brendan Rodgers after only eight league games, with everyone around Liverpool keen on a change up in any personnel that weren’t performing to standard.
One player that come to Liverpool with lots of promise and a fairly large price tag at £25 million was Adam Lallana, and this season was arguably his biggest season so far for Liverpool with fans divided on his capabilities and whether he belongs in the Liverpool squad.
He needed to prove not only to the fans, but also the new boss Jürgen Klopp, that he was worthy of a place and show the desire needed to compete at the top level. According to Whoscored.com Lallana contributed seven goals and seven assists over 43 appearances, with the majority of those coming under Jürgen Klopp.
The arrival of Klopp has pleased many and also seen some of the players that needed to improve, thrive under his supportive and enthusiastic style. Lovren, Allen and Origi have all improved this Liverpool side through the season, however one player that seems to have played his way into the team is Lallana. His hard work has gone unappreciated at times and has often come off the bench and provided a moment of skill to create an opportunity for the team.
Klopp seems to know how to get the best out of his players and Lallana is one of those that has benefited from his arrival, despite his improvements there are still some questions over whether he should be starting in the first eleven next season.
Playing alongside Coutinho and Firmino this season has overshadowed Lallana’s football at times, you could argue that he’s been the most consistent of the three players however Firmino and Coutinho have both come up with big moments when needed. This has often seen Lallana be the first player to be replaced when things need to be changed, with Coutinho’s ability to score a screamer from 25 yards and Firmino’s skill to skip past players for fun, they need to be on the pitch.
Lallana demonstrates his creative, aggressive and determined drives to get forward with more successful dribbles than unsuccessful however only averages just above 3 dribbles a game, almost half of Coutinho’s dribbles. It would be fair to say that Coutinho is used and relied on more also providing more passes than Lallana, however Lallana’s pass accuracy is higher with an impressive 82% in the league.
Whoscored.com’s stats confirm that Lallana sees significantly less of the ball than Firmino and Coutinho with almost eight less passes per game than Coutinho and one less than Firmino. Although, Lallana’s key passes are only marginally lower than Coutinho and are slightly higher than Firmino which is impressive. The fact that Lallana’s passing is just as good as Firmino and Coutinho’s is backed up with seven assists, level with Coutinho and two behind Firmino.
What has been impressive this season for Lallana is his work rate and willingness to track back and make a tackle or clearance. Lallana provides more tackles and clearances than his team mate Coutinho, demonstrating that he is willing to work harder in defence as well as going forward. However it should be taken into consideration that Lallana has played more minutes of football this season with over 3090 minutes, over 100 minutes more than Coutinho and Firmino.
There is no doubt that Lallana isn’t as technically gifted as Firmino or Coutinho, however his work rate is what has improved his performances, seeing an increase in most of his stats. This could be because he’s aware that this season was one for him to prove his worth or it could be because of the arrival of Klopp, either way his improvements are a step in the right direction and it provides Liverpool fans with hope for the future.
One concern that must be raised is Lallana’s age, he is 28 years old and usually most players are in their prime at that age. Is his form last season good enough to get him into Liverpool’s current team and most importantly is he the calibre of player to be starting for a team that wants top 4 and Champions League football? Only the future will tell but the season just gone has shown that Adam Lallana deserves time at Liverpool Football Club.
Featured Image – The Independent
For more of Daniel’s superb opinions check him out on Twitter! – @DanielWhite_93