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Adam Lallana’s Return Could Improve Klopp’s Headaches

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According to John Aldridge, Lallana’s return will give the manager a different—and better—kind of headache.

Liverpool v Middlesbrough - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Liverpool have had their share of struggles through the autumn, many of them due to an attack that was meant to be the cornerstone of a triumphant Champions League return too often failing to click. Injuries have played a role in that, but soon Jürgen Klopp could have all of his key players back.

After the headache that was September and October, it could be a good kind of headache Klopp will soon end up having—a headache about deciding who plays and who sits on the bench. At least that’s how former Red John Aldridge sees it, with the return of Adam Lallana in particular worthy of note.

“It’s all about options with Jurgen Klopp,” Aldridge noted in The Liverpool Echo. “Adam being fit gives us an option, and he'll know he has to fight to win his place—he has more of a fight than ever to hold down a place in this midfield with Philippe Coutinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“Don't get me wrong, it's a headache for Klopp, but it's a good headache. If he goes three up front with the three you expect him to, where does [Lallana] fit in? You've got to consider Gini Wijnaldum and Emre Can in that central midfield position, too. It's great for us going forward though.”

Lallana will have to fight to win his place back, first in training and then by delivering in match situations, and it may take a few weeks before the England man is fully up to speed given how long now he’s been sidelined. In the end, though, Aldridge thinks that it will indeed be Lallana who wins out.

“People are asking if him and Coutinho can co-exist in the same midfield,” he added. “There's going to be no problem with that, don't you worry. It will give us a different balance at home, especially against teams who need breaking down [but we] need a defensive-minded player behind them.”

Whether that more defensive-minded player ends up being Can or Wijnaldum or Jordan Henderson, if Lallana can get back to his best and win a place alongside Coutinho, the overpowered attack Liverpool fans were eager to see this season could finally get its chance to shine.