Adam Lallana has become a trusted and key figure under Jürgen Klopp, functioning as the attacking graft and connective tissue in Liverpool's attack. Liverpool have other hard-working players in the side, but Lallana can be deployed across the attacking midfield band centrally or on either side. This versatility combined with a unstinting commitment to pressing has helped Liverpool continue to fight for honours in April.
Productivity in the final third along with a propensity to hold onto the ball for too long has been often, and not entirely unfairly, levelled against the former Southampton talisman. Recent games have shown that he can do all the things his champions cherish and support the attack in ways that his detractors would like to see more often. Convincing victories over Manchester United (from the right) and Manchester City (from the left) last month illustrated the player's effectiveness as a threat in the final third.
Lallana's two assists and one goal in three league games were part of the reason he won the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month award for March. His work in winning the ball back high up the pitch, helping out defensively, taking on players, helping retain possession, and linking intelligently with his teammates were also on display. Jürgen Klopp was effusive in his praise for Liverpool's number 20 after his player's efforts were being recognised by supporters.
[Has he been] the most pleasant [surprise]? One, for sure. I maybe had another few very, very nice surprises since I’ve been here. I always knew how strong he is. I knew more about him when he played for Southampton. He wrote a very nice story there and I’m really, really happy that a few more people recognise what a great player he is. When I saw the [England] game against the Netherlands… he is a really good player. And a nice guy. So it is absolutely deserved. [The award] is nice, congratulations! Hopefully he can win it again in April! That would be good for us.
Adam Lallana turns 28 next month but isn't the type of player who should be past his best at 30. He has frustrated some Liverpool fans at times but is proving to be more than the conjurer of a sexy flick or a cosseted trick. The promise he showed for Liverpool last season -- despite struggling with injuries -- appears to be in full bloom under Klopp. Lallana is more than the man with the velvet touch and the beautifully-crafted turn, and with his experience under Mauricio Pochettino, he may prove to be a gift for Klopp in the years ahead.