Steve Nicol has told ESPN that he believes Adam Lallana could leave Liverpool this summer after a difficult 2018-19 campaign, as he is the “odd one out” at Anfield.
The 31-year-old endured a multitude of injury last season, managing just 16 appearances in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp’s side. He is a long way away from the Reds side, and Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Since his £25million (BBC Sport) move to Anfield from Southampton, Lallana has since clocked up 156 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool – scoring 21 goals and laying on 20 assists.
But the 34-time England international has entered the last 12 months on his £110,000-a-week contract (Spotrac). Now, Nicol believes Lallana could leave the club this summer, as he is the “odd one out” on Merseyside.
“I think it’s pretty clear the odd man out in that lot is Lallana,” Nicol said. “At his best he can give you a little sparkle. Unfortunately, in his time at Liverpool, he’s not really been at his best very often.
“So right now, for me, he is the one completely on the out.”
TBR’s view – Liverpool need to keep Lallana
Nicol is wrong. A fully fit Lallana is still one of the most technically-gifted players in that Liverpool side, and even if he is only operating at 80 per cent, he is still a very useful squad player.
His importance could also be increasing. Jurgen Klopp has used the former Southampton midfielder in a holding role during pre-season, with the German renowned for adapting players to different roles.
Liverpool do have Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in that role, but adding Lallana to that list of options gives the Englishman versatility and more chance of game time. The Reds should keep him, at least until next summer.