Jurgen Klopp says that Adam Lallana’s importance to his Liverpool side comes as no surprise and described him as a ‘real Liverpool player.’
Liverpool paid £25 million to sign Lallana from Southampton on the eve of the 2014 World Cup and he has largely failed to live up to the price tag. After taking some time to adjust to life on Merseyside, Lallana is firing on all cylinders for Liverpool and is about to make his 100th appearance for the club.
“For me, it feels like we’ve spoken already a lot of times about Adam – I have no problem, I like him, so we can speak about him,” Klopp told journalists at his pre-West Bromwich Albion press conference on Thursday.
“It was a very intensive game against Manchester United and coming in with fresh legs is not the worst thing.
“He is a very good football player, very important for us and in my opinion his development is not that big; I didn’t watch the games before I came [here], but since I have been here he has been on a constant high level. With all the improvement in the team, he can take the benefit of this too. He brings a lot in the team with all of his quality and that’s alright, all good.
“In a special game against Manchester United, with this quality coming in and fresh legs, that has to make the difference – you have to see that here comes a high-quality player, full of energy and that’s what he did.
“Unfortunately, in the end, it was not enough for us, maybe not long enough or whatever, but it’s all good with Adam and until now this week he could train properly and everything is good.”
Heading into the international break, Lallana had been nominated as the Premier League’s Player of the Month and Klopp feels that his impact on the team is a result of his leadership skills as shown by captaining Southampton at a young age.
“When he was very young he was already captain of Southampton – that says a lot about him,” continued the boss.
“He is a smart boy and now at an age where experience helps more and more when you are smart enough. That’s what he uses – it grows confidence, that’s how it is. He is a real Liverpool player, he loves this club.
“He made a difficult change, as I recognised when we played Southampton. Obviously, they still miss him – a lot of players have left Southampton in the last few years, but obviously with Adam, they are still not happy he is not there anymore and says a lot about his quality and the influence he had at Southampton.
“Now he is here and I am really happy about this fact.”
Lallana has become one of the most important players at Liverpool and showed, by being absent for an hour of the game against United, just how important he is to the current crop of players. His experience, leadership and skill will be crucial for any chance of success that Liverpool has this season.
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