It looks as though no less than four of Liverpool's summer signings will have a significant part to play as the final two and a half months of the season play out. Emre Can is a fixture at the back, Dejan Lovren will feature with some sort of regularity in defense as Mamadou Sakho works his way back to full fitness, Alberto Moreno has solidified his spot at left wingback, Lazar Markovic will get his share of starts between right wingback and an advanced role, and Adam Lallana, the pick of the lot other than Can, will continue his excellent form as part of Brendan Rodgers' preferred eleven.
For those willing to delay definitive judgments past the month of October, Liverpool's signings from the summer of 2014 have looked increasingly impressive, and while most would pick out Can as the most encouraging of the bunch, Lallana has been excellent in his own right. Injuries have forced him out of the side at times, but when he's been fit he has been one of Liverpool's best, and since returning to the side in the past few weeks that's continued to be the case.
A regular spot in the starting eleven has afforded him a front row seat to the growth of Jordan Henderson, who's been excellent in his own right and excelled as captain, and is set to lead the squad out this Sunday as they face Blackburn in the FA Cup quarterfinals at Anfield:
"Jordan is unbelievable. He has matured as a player over the last two seasons and he has kicked on another level even with the armband. I was lucky enough to be captain at Southampton and it does give you that little bit extra and it seems it is doing the same to him. It is great to be playing with such good players and the results are on the up.
"It is a great competition in which we have a great chance of getting to Wembley in the semi-final. We won't underestimate Blackburn, we will dust ourselves down, recover well and go again Sunday. A lot of the big guns went out in the early rounds so it is good that we can maybe capitalise on that but Blackburn will not be an easy game. They will come here full of optimism and will want to cause an upset."
There is much to love about Lallana, from the leadership evident here--particularly in praising a player whose status as heir apparent to one of the club's greatest ever players has been under scrutiny--to the exquisite skill he produces on the pitch. His unrivaled touch, smart movement, and tireless pressing has brought another dimension to this Liverpool side, and he's installed himself as a familiar face in some of the squad's best performances of the season.
Best of all is that he's a player who, like Moreno, Can, and plenty others who have thrived under Rodgers' reign, seems absolutely thrilled to be wearing a Liverpool shirt and is willing to run himself into the ground for the good of the cause.