Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has been speaking about how much he enjoys playing at the back of midfield in a number six role, as per the Times.
£110,000-a-week (Spotrac) Lallana apparently impressed Jordan Henderson in that holding role during training before the Champions League final, having also excelled there when helping Liverpool prepare to face Thiago Alcantara in February.
Of the deeper midfield role, he said: “I’m still waiting to get a chance there. That may, or may not, come, but it definitely interests me. I find it very stimulating because I get more of the ball than I have ever had in my career. Sometimes as a number eight you are making decoy runs, or you are offering and you don’t get the ball.
“In the six you are centralised to the play, involved in the buildup a lot more. Jordan told me I need to watch Frenkie de Jong. He dribbles a bit more than other sixes, which obviously brings a bit of risk but that is in my game. I watch the six more now than the eight. What are their movements like? I’ve found myself focusing on Fabinho a little bit.”
TBR’s View – Moving Lallana deeper could be a masterstroke
It’s important to point out that Lallana came on as a false nine against Arsenal and remains a versatile attacking midfielder who can play across the front as well.
But, as he gets older, moving him deeper may help prolong his career and offer Liverpool a completely different dimension.
It often gets talked about that Liverpool don’t have a playmaker to break down certain sides, but Jurgen Klopp usually demands more energy than invention from his central midfielders.
But one way around that could be a more technical holding player like Lallana, who can set the tempo of a match given the time and space and still using powerful players either side of him bombing forward.