Dave Davis discusses why the fanfare surrounding Adam Lallana is premature.
This season couldn’t have really started any better for Adam Lallana. The Liverpool midfielder was his nation’s hero the other night, having scored an injury-time winner against Slovakia to cap a man of the match performance.
The country of Liverpool has also appreciated the former Southampton player’s efforts in recent times as the player averages a goal or assist every 154 minutes for the Reds this season. It’s a promising start, including a goal and assist against Arsenal on the opening day but there are a few reasons why we shouldn’t be getting excited just yet.
The other night was Lallana’s first goal for England in 27 caps, so it’s not as though the 28-year-old can be described as prolific.
More importantly, the midfielder has enjoyed mixed success since his move from Southampton for £25 million back in 2014. Brendan Rodgers never really got the best out of him and it’s only in recent times that the former Bournemouth Academy graduate has really looked like a Liverpool player.
Injuries have, undoubtedly, played a part in this. Yet, in his time at Anfield, Lallana averages a goal or assist every 243 minutes which isn’t exactly the stuff of legends.
Lallana does seem to be a player that Jurgen Klopp favours and the player has admitted his love for the German in the past.
He can play the high-energy pressing game that Klopp demands, whilst being able to play in any of three positions behind the front man which the manager favours. The competition for the attacking spots at Anfield is rife though, and with the likes of Mane, Coutinho and Firmino seemingly nailed on starters then the England man will need to maintain his current standards to stay in the line-up.
There is no doubting Lallana’s ability, yet it’s his end product which is often criticised. Quick feet, Cruyff turns and movement are all great skills to possess, but they have to be used at the right time and in the right areas.
Lallana is 28 years old and there is a feeling that if he’s going to be a first team regular then fans will be wanting to see an increase on the 7 goals and 8 assists in 49 games last season. A promising start it maybe, but there’s a long way to go.
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