Profile on Adam Lallana

Having signed Rickie Lambert from Southampton on 2 June Liverpool attempted to also buy Lambert’s team-mate and the Saints’ captain, Adam Lallana, before the 2014 World Cup finals commenced in Brazil. England’s early exit from that tournament meant that almost as soon as the player had landed back on British soil the transfer saga resumed with interest, especially as comments from the player made it clear that he was (a) keen to move on from Southampton and (b) just as keen to join Lambert at Liverpool.

The Saints’ reluctance to accept Liverpool’s initial offer of twenty million pounds stemmed from the 25% sell-on clause they would have to pay when the Hertfordshire-born youngster moved from Bournemouth’s Centre of Excellence to Southampton’s Academy soon after the millennium. Once Liverpool had upped their offer by about twenty-five per cent from the original figure, there was nothing to stop the midfielder making the move north.

The youngster progressed well after he had made the short move along the south coast from Dorset to Hampshire as a twelve-year-old. Southampton reached the F.A. Youth Cup final in 2005 where they were narrowly beaten on aggregate by Ipswich Town; and they were beaten semi-finalists a year later. The 2006/07 season saw young Adam appear in Southampton’s senior team for the first time when he played against Yeovil Town in the League Cup in August followed three days later by his first Football League appearance against Preston North End. But he only made the senior match-day squad on four more occasions during that season. In the autumn of 2007 Southampton allowed him to return to Bournemouth on a one-month loan deal and he made three appearances for the Cherries in League One plus one in the Football League Trophy before making five more appearances in The Championship after returning to Southampton. With his teenage years now behind him the big breakthrough came in 2008/09. Although his club had a miserable season finishing second from bottom and being relegated to League One, Lallana played in 40 of the 46 league matches, scoring once in an early-season defeat at Loftus Road by Queens Park Rangers (he also scored in a League Cup victory over Birmingham City).

Two quick relegations had dented the club’s pride but not the resolve of its players to rectify things on the pitch. Adam Lallana was a regular member of the team that returned Southampton to the Championship in 2011 and to the Premier League after a seven-year absence in 2012, at which point he was named club captain. In that second promotion season Adam’s reputation grew as not just a goal-scorer but also a goal-maker. It wasn’t a surprise that he adapted well to life in the top division. At the time Liverpool made their move in the late-spring/early-summer of 2014 Lallana had appeared in just under 90% of Southampton’s league fixtures in the previous two seasons and had contributed twelve goals as the Saints re-established themselves as a Premier League club by finishing 14th in 2013 before climbing to a very creditable 8th in 2014.

Liverpool have signed a player who is still only in his mid-twenties and one whose reputation has risen considerably since he was called up into the senior England squad towards the end of 2013, making his first appearance at that level in a Wembley friendly against Chile. Although England lost, Lallana’s performance was praised and he started another friendly against Germany four days later in which, ironically, he was substituted by Rickie Lambert with a quarter of an hour remaining. Against Denmark in March 2014 he played at the national stadium for his country for the third time and although this time he had to be satisfied with a place on the bench he came on for the final half-hour and created the only goal of the game for one of his new club team-mates, Daniel Sturridge. This impressive start to his full international career earned him a place on the plane to Brazil but his taste of action there was only brief … replacing Sturridge for the final ten minutes of England’s defeat by Italy, coming on for Danny Welbeck against Uruguay and being replaced by another new team-mate, Raheem Sterling, in the second half of the tame 0-0 draw with Costa Rica.

Lallana should have little trouble adjusting to Liverpool's style of play as Southampton also focused on attracting football and he has the skillset to succeed at a bigger club. He is equally strong with both feet, a rare attribute and even though he lacks pace and power by his own admission, his technique seemingly glides him past the opposition.

Copyright - - written by Chris Wood ([email protected])

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