Adam Lallana may feature as a ‘6’ next season, according to Jurgen Klopp. We have a look at one reason that can succeed, and one reason it may fail.
“Adam is the kind of player who can play [as a ‘6’] and he enjoys this ‘Jorginho’ role,” Klopp said after Liverpool’s pre-season friendly at Bradford.
The holding midfield role, called a ‘6’ in Germany after the number the player traditionally wears, would be a new one for Lallana.
But can he make it work?
Why Lallana might work as a ‘6’
Lallana’s close control is fantastic. It’s up there with the best at Liverpool – it may even be the best. He can turn out of tight situations in a flash, which may be very handy.
It allows for quick transitions, the hallmark of Klopp’s style. Lallana can, in theory, take the ball from the defence, avoid a press, and play between the lines.
It’s something that neither Fabinho or Jordan Henderson, the two players to call the role their own, are capable of.
One reason it may fail
One problem with the idea is that it does prevent Lallana from pressing – arguably his best trait. Lallana’s best spell under Klopp came at a time when he led the press. His injuries and subsequent lack of fitness has left him unable to do it, leaving him out of the side.
Asking him to hold his position in front of the defence would surely have a similar effect. It would take away that energy and his fantastic pressing ability.
But then, if he’s no longer capable of it, why not change his position to focus on other qualities?
That strategy does leave you questioning his usefulness, admittedly. Similar things were said about Daniel Sturridge as a no.10 last summer but that didn’t come to pass.
But then, perhaps this will work out better. As we’ve said, he has at least one quality that can make it work.
And at this point, you’ve simply got to trust Klopp’s judgement.