Adam Lallana’s first season for Liverpool has been a disappointment. Not because of a lack of talent, and not because of an inability to fit with the way Brendan Rodgers wants to play. It hasn’t even been the goal return, as Lallana has a respectable four goals and five assists for Liverpool so far. Instead, it’s been the constant injuries.
It’s been that Lallana hasn’t been fit enough to be on the pitch enough to get more than four goals and five assists since arriving from Southampton last summer. At £25M he was meant to walk straight into the starting eleven, and while when fit he’s often lived up to his star billing, the simple truth is too often he just hasn’t been fit, having missed three months and more than a dozen games through injury.
"I had a groin issue," revealed the midfielder when asked about his latest absence. "I’ve had a couple of them this season, but I’m back on top of it now, which is good. I’m back fit now, 100%, and have trained the last two days. It was frustrating as I had a bit of a recurrence before the Arsenal game, maybe being a little bit too eager to get back. But I’ve trained well, I feel good, and I’m ready for the run-in."
If Liverpool are to have any chance of making up the gap on Manchester City they’ll need Lallana fit and at his best, particularly with the struggles they’ve had over the past two months while Lallana’s been in and out—but mostly out—of the lineup. That he’s likely to be involved in some capacity against West Brom on Saturday, then, is very good news. Unfortunately, not all the injury news is good today.
At his pre-match press conference, Brendan Rodgers revealed that while Lallana is fit, three key players will be missing. Striker Daniel Sturridge, who has spent the majority of the season injured, is once again unavailable, and after missing out in the FA Cup, midfielder Lucas Leiva will also be out—a potentially important absence that means Steven Gerrard could end up at the base of Liverpool’s midfield on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Mamadou Sakho, another player key to Liverpool’s improvements in the second half of the season, remains injured, though he was never expected to be in contention to play this week.