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Ex-Footballers Divided over Adam Lallana's Euro 2016 Performances

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Dwight Yorke and Peter Beardsley had very different views of Adam Lallana's performances for England during Euro 2016.

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What do you make of Adam Lallana? Liverpool seem set to make a move for Sadio Mané, possibly limiting Lallana's minutes next season. Like Mané, Lallana can play across the attacking band. While not blessed with searing pace, Lallana is a balanced attacking player with wonderful technique who contributes in both attack and defence while helping to link the play.

Jürgen Klopp has unsurprisingly taken to a player with an appetite for pressing and ball recoveries, but Lallana has been criticised for lacking productivity in the final third and slowing down an attack by holding onto the ball for too long. Some of these criticisms were identified by former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke who strongly criticised what he's seen from Lallana during Euro 2016.

"Lallana doesn't score enough goals and he's had chance after chance," Yorke said, clearly unimpressed with Lallana's game. "At international level, you can't afford to carry people. He hasn't really succeeded at Liverpool yet he walks into Roy Hodgson's team. It's bizarre. What has he done so far?

"I know it's all about opinion but Lallana gives me nothing. He has proven it in the two games he's played; he has not scored, he has not created a goal. He just hasn't got it. Listen the guy is a decent player, but you are talking about the first eleven for England and he's in it. It's madness. I could play against Lallana now and he wouldn't get past me. He couldn't out-football me. Sterling would make me look like an old man."

Much of this is unfair and insulting. It must be all about pace, then, because Adam Lallana is in far better form than Raheem Sterling at the moment. Yorke appeared to have a lot more patience for Sterling than Lallana, saying that the Manchester City youngster should start on the right with Dele Alli on the left in a groundbreaking 4-4-2 formation. Peter Beardsley, however, saw a lot of himself in Adam Lallana. Such comparisons naturally led to the former Liverpool forward praising the Liverpool star who has started in all of England's Euro 2016 group games.

"Lallana would be the one for me who has been outstanding," Beardsley enthused. "He is similar to the way I played with how he moves the ball and creates goals. I really like his energy and enthusiasm in getting the ball back. Dier has done well but overall Lallana has been our best player and I see a lot of myself in him."

Beardlsey correctly identified why Adam Lallana is the sort of player you keep in a matchday squad. This is the type of player that helps systems function, and what's more, he possesses great flexibility that enables other players to be involved in their preferred positions, a key factor that often goes unnoticed. Lallana has been in good positions to score during the Euros, and Yorke has a point about Lallana not doing enough when needed. He's not going to be the player you turn to for a breakthrough, but does he need to be?

Looking at his last four seasons in the Premier League, his first with Southampton produced a goal or assist every 220 minutes. His second? Every 280 minutes. In his two seasons at Liverpool, his productivity has improved from a goal or assist every 224 minutes in 2014/15 to every 211 minutes last season. All the while, his defensive statistics remained remarkably consistent. He's the attacking player who will always work while others shine more brightly but he'll contribute every two-and-a-half games or so.

Put him on the right, on the left, or in the middle and he'll do what he does. He may not convince everybody, but a certain 49-year-old knows a thing or two about good players.