What is the best position for Adam Lallana?
“I do think a central role is where I am best, It’s where I played most of my football for Southampton.”
“I can play a variety of roles, but I do enjoy playing that position.“I’m able to influence games more when I’m playing inside. I can get on the ball and twist and turn.”
These are the words Adam Lallana used when Liverpool Echo asked him about his most preferred position in the team. The 27-year-old was brought to Anfield in 2014 by the-then boss Brendan Rodgers on the back off an outstanding season at Southampton. However, ever since his arrival, has been bogged down by injuries, inconsistency and the fact that he has never really been utilized in his natural position.
During his first season, Lallana was played out wide, whenever he did manage to get decent game-time because Raheem Sterling was playing down the middle. Even this season, the Brazilian playmaker Phillipe Coutinho has been handed the no. 10 role, which means that Lallana has once again been shifted out on the wide areas to accommodate someone else.
However, that was under the reign of Rodgers. Under Klopp, one hopes Lallana gets fitter and plays more centrally. It will be interesting to see how the German solves this particular conundrum, because in Roberto Firmino, he has another player who can be used both centrally or out wide. Players like Lallana have flair and grace, but often they lack the industry Klopp demands from his team. If Lallana can add that into his game, he can be an asset to the Liverpool team looking to rebuild. In fact, he doesn’t have to look far for an inspiration, he has just to look at Juan Mata, who is currently playing his trade as a right winger for Manchester United, having realized that it would be impossible for him to pin down the no. 10 role with Wayne Rooney in the team. Mata has been excellent so far in this campaign in that position, and some now find it ridiculous that Jose Mourinho had once sold him for his lack of industry on the pitch.
If Mata can do crack the code, so can Lallana. He is a smart player, he seems to have the silky charisma that most English players these days lack, and with a new manager in charge, this is his ideal time to finally take charge and prove his capability. At 27, he certainly isn’t getting any younger or faster, but with the correct approach and proper fitness regime, he should develop into the player he was touted to be, even if that means he won’t be playing in the secondary striker role anytime soon.