Adam Lallana’s switch from Southampton to Liverpool was confirmed on Tuesday morning; the first official day of 2014’s summer transfer window. The move was one that had been strongly rumoured for over a month, and at one stage there had even been the suggestion that a completed transfer could have been carried out before Lallana jetted off with the England squad to Brazil. Now that he has returned home with the Three Lions, it was always likely that were a deal to go through, it would happen sooner rather than later.
As is often the case these days, the full details of the transfer have not been fully disclosed, but the fee is widely considered to be very close to £25 million, with the possibility of add-ons, along with the player being handed a 5 year contract. His wages are highly unlikely to be astronomical, but it is a guarantee that he has been awarded a substantial pay-rise compared to his time at Southampton.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hinted strongly on Monday that several new additions to his squad could be announced in the not too distant future, making the capture of Adam Lallana likely to only be the first step of many to come. While many may baulk at the size of the figure that was deemed necessary to secure his signature, I believe it was in fact a good deal for both parties. At 26, Lallana is just approaching the peak years of his career and it is only sensible that he would wish for these to be played at the highest level possible. Southampton have gained many fruitful years of service from him and by selling him at this age and after the season he has just had, they have maximised their profits. Relatively young English players in the Premier League who are also full internationals come at a premium. Liverpool have paid that in the hope that they can benefit from his very best years and he can be a vital player for them for the duration of his contract.
You can certainly see why Brendan Rodgers has great admiration for his new signing and seems to have made his purchase one of the cornerstones of this summer’s transfer activity. Adam Lallana fits perfectly into the mould which Rodgers is attempting to ingrain into the psyche of the Anfield club. He is a great technical player who is equally adept on either foot and can use this ability to receive the ball in tight situations. We have seen how Rodgers values hard work and endeavour all over the pitch and this is something the ex-Southampton man has in abundance. Despite his technical attributes, he is not averse to tracking back to help the defence at times of need and will involve himself heavily in a pressing tactic high up the pitch. Lallana has fantastic game intelligence which he applies in many areas, such as being able to see passes that others couldn’t, in addition to applying himself in a variety of positions.
We saw last season with members of his squad; in particular Jordan Henderson and Phillippe Coutinho, that Rodgers is not afraid of deploying a player out of their comfort zone if he believes they have the intelligence to perform to their maximum. I believe that Adam Lallana is certainly one of these players and could fit into a multitude of different systems and positions for Liverpool over the coming years. In a 4-3-3, he could play in an advanced central midfield role or in either of the wide positions. Rodgers seemed to favour a diamond formation towards the end of the last campaign and Lallana could well find himself either at the tip of this midfield quartet or on either flank.
All in all, I see him as the perfect signing to help push Liverpool on to even higher goals and injury permitting, will play a vital role throughout the season in helping them achieve that.