There’s an old school of thought in football which runs a long the lines of “You can never have enough good players”. It’s perhaps never been more pertinent to Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp.
We’ve all seen how effective the pressing game is. From Klopp’s first big win, the 1-4 thumping of City at The Etihad, we all marveled at the devastation his approach can cause. However, the counter weight to this is the drain it puts on the players. It’s hard, virtually impossible, to play at that tempo all season. The toll it takes on the players is too much and leaves them empty for the crucial run ins at the end of the season.
Unless of course you have a huge squad, full of quality. This is where Lallana comes in.
Forgotten piece of the puzzle
It should have been a huge year for Lallana. Liverpool in the Champions League Final, England at Russia and his involvement in a wonderfully gifted attacking team. Lallana has the quality to walk into both the Liverpool and the England team on his day, but sadly for St Albans-born attacker, it hasn’t been his day for a while. Injuries though have plagued the former Southampton man, ruining his campaign last season and effectively ruling him out of England’s fun in Russia.
You could sense his frustration, which boiled over horribly in a reserve fixture against Spurs at the turn of the year. The England international violently gripped one of the opposition players following a fairly forgettable challenge. With the stellar form of his teammates ahead of him and the niggling injuries, it seemed suddenly as though his reds career could be burning out.
He is slowly returning to fitness though and if the club can get him back to anywhere near the levels he’s capable of then he could be like a new signing for Liverpool. His goal last night against Tranmere is encouraging, as he needs to show the right hunger and fight now to regain his first team place.
With Oxlade-Chamberlain ruled out until — let’s face it — Christmas at the earliest, there is a gap in the first team for Lallana to exploit. With so much pressure on the coming campaign it will useful to say the least to have a fully fit Lallana back and ready to go.
Pressing for honours
Klopp will want a squad assembled in the coming weeks that is capable of fighting on all fronts. Rotation will be critical in certain matches as they look to rest their key men. Lallana can offer real quality for this ambition.
His clever movement and ability to make space for his colleagues is a vital component to how we play. Against deep sitting defenses, which are as common at Anfield as average keepers playing like Buffon, Lallana can create havoc with his trickery and intelligence.
For those saying he should be culled this summer, they must remember their recent history. Both in 2016 and 2018 the squad was threadbare and visibly exhausted. Against Chelsea and Real Madrid, sides with real quality who can stretch and dictate possession, they looked jaded and unable to compete.
Liverpool need players fit and ready. Lallana doesn’t have to play week in week out. If Klopp can use him smartly, he can be a huge member of the squad this season.
No doubt there is a threat to him with the current window open. Liverpool are linked to a full array of names this summer, many of whom play in Lallana’s guise. There is also the threat from within to consider. Wilson and Woodburn are highly rated and with
He deserves a bit of luck with injuries after last season, if his fortune holds, then it will be fantastic for all involved.
This article was originally published here at Footie Blog #14.