Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has told the club’s official website that their signing of Takumi Minamino is a ‘fantastic’ deal for the European champions – but does the Reds’ latest shrewd signing mean the end of the road for Lallana next summer?
Minamino, 24, was unveiled as a Liverpool player on Thursday morning after the Reds activated his release clause for a bargain fee of £7.25 million. The Japan international will join up with Jurgen Klopp and his new teammates on January 1, once the window opens.
The RB Salzburg playmaker has been in scintillating form for the Austrian champions this season. Minamino already has 9 goals in all competitions whilst also registering 11 assists. He has featured 22 times for his national team Japan – scoring 11 goals since his debut in 2015.
Lallana, who was very much seen as a similar creative spark for the Reds following his move from Southampton in 2014 has spoken out regarding Liverpool’s latest addition.
“Fantastic signing”, Lallana revealed to Liverpool’s official website. “It’s going to be more competition for places again, which is hugely positive to have. The more you’re competing, the higher the level is in training.
“That means the quality is going to be higher on a Saturday, Wednesday or whenever we’re playing. It’s fantastic news that we’ve made another addition and I’m really looking forward to meeting him when we get back.”
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Lallana’s comments reflect the Englishman’s class and unwavering consistency as a team player. Even without the signing of Minamino many Liverpool supporters expected the former Southampton man to leave the club once his contract expires next summer.
The 31-year-old midfielder has been riddled by injury during his five year Anfield career. Lallana has featured in 167 matches for the Reds – scoring 21 goals and registering 21 assists.
He hasn’t endured a consistent run of games since the 2016/17 campaign that saw Liverpool return to the Champions League for the first time in three seasons before suffering an injury that would see him absent for the best part of a year.
Lallana even featured for over an hour in the 2018 Champions League finals following an injury to Mohamed Salah. Sadly for Lallana, the gulf in quality reflected their need for more reinforcements and since Naby Keita, Fabinho and now Minamino have all been added to Klopp’s ranks.
The £25 million signing (BBC Sport) will have a number of suitors should he depart Merseyside but with Gini Wijnaldum’s contract situation currently taking higher priority amongst Liverpool supporters it could be the final nail in the coffin for Lallana regarding his future at Anfield.