Ethan Golding reviews Adam Lallana’s 2017/18 season and takes a look at what the future holds for him as a Liverpool player?
The 2017/18 season should have been the season where Adam Lallana bossed the midfield of a Champions League final. The squad that saw Liverpool reach their first final since 2007 could only have benefitted from a fit Adam Lallana.
From the first minutes of Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool reign, Lallana has been the poster child of Klopp’s high octane, all action pressing game, triggering the press and routinely being the man to pick the locks of a tight defence.
However, 2017/18 can be looked at in no way other than a disastrous season for Liverpool’s number 20. Making just fifteen senior appearances this season, totaling just 456 minutes. He also made one appearance in the Premier League 2, where he played 63 minutes and received a red card for assaulting Spurs U23 player George Marsh.
As we all know Lallana’s season was ruined by injury, missing 17 Premier League games due to a recurring hamstring injury and missing out on a further 7 match day squads as he looked to regain fitness following his lengthy injury layoffs.
His hamstring troubles also resulted in him missing 12 of 15 Champions league games this season, Liverpool’s FA Cup 4th round tie with West Brom, and the 2-0 defeat to Leicester in the 3rd round of the EFL (Carabao) Cup.
His extensive injuries this season meant that he contributed to 0 goals and 0 assists this season and, by and large, seen his role in the squad filled by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (who rather ironically will miss a large portion of the first half of next season).
While the now 30-year-old will be glad that in spite of his injuries, he has been named as a reserve in Gareth Southgate’s 2018 World Cup Squad, he will be more disappointed by not being in Southgate’s 23 man squad.
Now one of England’s senior players, and arguably one of the most naturally gifted technicians the country has seen in decades, Lallana’s consistent injuries and inability to regain form quickly this season means, barring any serious injuries, he will miss out on what is most likely his last International Tournament.
Klopp clearly has a vision of what he wants his midfield to be for the coming season. Lallana’s almost nonexistent season, combined with his age, could well see the former Saint moved on this summer or at the very least restricted to a purely supporting role in the side.
With the long-anticipated arrival Naby Keita as well as the shock signing of Fabinho from AS Monaco, competition for places in Liverpool’s midield three is more competitive than it has ever been in the Premier League era and arguably of a higher quality than ever.
During his tenure at the club, Lallana has become a fan and squad favourite so it would be a shame to see him leave under the current circumstances.
Having said that, unless he can emulate James Milner’s seemingly endless supply of stamina and consistency, perhaps a move to a lower top ten side would suit Lallana best next season.
Or better yet, a move abroad, where his technical quality and smooth flair would truly be appreciated.