So many players have come alive under Jürgen Klopp that it's hard to choose just one to give a Most Improved Player award to. Adam Lallana comes close, though, as a player who many felt didn't live up to his price tag in his debut season but who has turned things around to the point where he is almost always the first name on Klopp's team sheet.
"The last seven months have been very important for me," Lallana confirmed. "I feel as though I have established myself at Liverpool and I am enjoying it. I wouldn't say Jürgen's got inside our heads or he's some kind of psychologist. But it was a fresh start for everyone when he came in. He demands hard work. He doesn't do passive. That is a word he uses a lot. He says if you defend passive there is no point in playing.
"You are entitled to make a mistake and he accepts you will have a bad game but he really won't be happy if you are not giving it your all. I just feel really appreciated under this manager. That's just how it has worked out. People speak about the hugs he seems to give everyone but sometimes that can mean a lot to a player. It can make you feel wanted and shows he appreciates the hard work you have just put into a game."
Hearts in his eyes. Klopp hugs are often spoken of in a silly way, but Lallana isn't wrong that the feeling of being wanted is a very powerful one, one that can bring out the best in people. Whether Klopp's hugs will be enough to power Liverpool to a win in the Europa League final remains to be seen, but the man himself established a positive mentality about cup finals earlier this year at Wembley before the Capital One Cup final and that's sure to have an impact on his players.
"I remember it vividly," Lallana said of Klopp's insistence that the League Cup final was the first of many the team would have together. "The way he said it, you just believed there would be more finals whether it was this year or next year or whenever. It just shows you his confidence and self-belief and I think that rubs off on the lads, sub-consciously or not.
"He said we would use the experience whether we won at Wembley or not. We were on the losing side that day but I certainly learned from it and I'm sure the other players did too. We will be better for it and more prepared for this final. Getting to two finals is difficult in the same season. There is no luck in that."
Sevilla are Liverpool's final test of the season, but regardless of the result the team should be proud of their results in continental play this year. A piece of silverware at the end of it would be a fitting tribute to the squad's turn around under Klopp, as well as a reasonable rate of return on Klopp's hug investment. After all, hugs are free.