Adam Lallana’s star has traversed a peculiar orbit in his footballing career. From bursting onto the scene as an unusually cultured young talent and leading Southampton’s ascent through the divisions into the Premier League as club captain; to earning derision from two fanbases, from his boyhood club for making the big money move to Liverpool, and at Anfield, where he developed a reputation as an indecisive twinkletoes with a poor goal-to- Cruyff turn ratio. But then a third act saw the midfielder’s rise again to become arguably the key man for both club and country before tragically succumbing to a succession of debilitating injuries.
Once the first name on the team sheet but now a squad player, the 31-year-old is not expected to receive an extension once his current contract ends in the summer, drawing an end to a six-year spell at Anfield.
However, that the England international might no longer have a place in the best team in the world does not mean a host of other big clubs wouldn’t have use of Lallana’s unique skillset. To this end, reports suggest the race for the ex-Saints man will hot up between the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, Leicester City and West Ham come the opening of the transfer window.
Metro claims that Mikel Arteta has his nose in front and sees the highly-technical midfielder as a fit for Arsenal’s long-term preference for silky players. Meanwhile the Telegraph is under the impression that ex-Reds manager Brendan Rodgers, as the man who brought Lallana to Liverpool back in 2014, is in fact the one in pole position to secure a reunion at Leicester, particularly with the Foxes expecting to come under considerable selling pressure this summer for prized assets such as James Maddison.
With the likes of Takumi Minamino joining Liverpool in January and youngsters such as Curtis Jones beginning to make their presence known from the academy, it could be argued that Lallana has already been successfully replaced in the Reds juggernaut of a squad. However it shakes out, Adam Lallana will be remembered as a servant of the club (especially if his late equalizer against Manchester United back in October ends up being the goal that preserved an—touch wood—invincible campaign).
And of course, we’ll always have this beauty: