Adam Lallana’s injury-plagued first season at Liverpool may not have seen the midfielder hit the highs he regularly did for Southampton, but when fit, glimpses of the silky skill that compelled Brendan Rodgers to sign the 26-year-old last summer have been apparent.
And it’s those skills have today seen the England international, along with teammate Rickie Lambert, named to the Championship’s team of the decade for 2005-2015, a span over which Lallana spent four seasons in the league with his former club. Lallana first broke into Southampton’s squad between 2006 and 2009, making 46 appearances and scoring a pair of goals as a young midfielder.
He became integral in 2009-10, when Southampton had dropped to league one, appearing in 44 of 46 matches and scoring 15 goals. A year later, he was key to their promotion back to the Championship, where he again excelled, making 41 appearances and scoring 11 league goals to help earn Southampton an immediate promotion to the Premier League.
Lallana, though, was often overshadowed in those years by Rickie Lambert, at least in front of goal. Lambert joined Southampton in 2009, coinciding with Lallana’s rise from prospect to key part, and scored 51 goals in two seasons in League One before netting 27 times in the Championship in 2011-12, when he was named the club’s player of the season.
That 2011-12 season when Lallana and Lambert carried Southampton from newly promoted to the Premier League is why both find themselves on the team of the decade. They’re joined by Gareth Bale—as left back from his time at Southampton—Swansea’s Ashley Williams and Angel Rangel, Leicester’s Wes Morgan, Norwich’s Wes Hoolahan, Cardiff’s Peter Wittingham, Crystal Palace’s Glenn Murray, and Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes.
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