On the eve of Liverpool’s big EFL Cup semi-final first leg tie with Southampton, eyes have turned towards Adam Lallana. The former Saints man is, arguably, Liverpool’s most successful conquest from that club in the last few years.
It’s taken a few seasons, but Lallana’s level of performance under Klopp has made good on the promise of his £25million transfer back in 2014. However, his recent successes will not endear him to the home crowd on Wednesday when the Reds travel to St. Mary’s.
Jürgen Klopp, a man who is, obviously, completely without bias on this subject [see: above photo] weighed in on Lallana’s decision to leave his boyhood club.
“I don’t know, I’m not here long enough to know why Southampton fans react as they do but he is a boy from the region, that’s how it is,” he said. “His friends and family all come from there, he comes from there and with his quality I can imagine everybody at Southampton thought he could be the player for the next 10-15 years to build a team around. That is how it is.
“But actually I’m really happy he decided differently and wanted to see something else and wanted another challenge and experience. He has made outstanding, big steps from an already high level, that is not always expected, and you cannot be sure he would have done the same at Southampton.
“So it’s clear he needed this kind of step back to make the next step in the right direction. He left the comfort zone, if you want.”
This will be Lallana’s first match of the season against his former club since he missed their 1-1 draw in the league due to injury back in November. Emotions will be high, because semi-final cup games always get the blood pumping, no matter the competition, but Lallana has showed an imperiousness to the heckling in past match ups.
And this time he’ll take the pitch in the best form for his Liverpool career, with seven goals and seven assists already to his name.