The clock is ticking ever closer to Adam Lallana-o’clock over at Melwood. Liverpool’s man with the fancy feet has missed the entire season until now with an injury he picked up way back in the preseason. But the England midfielder has finally returned to first team training, participating with the squad for the passed three or four days.
“It’s fantastic that he’s back” said Jürgen Klopp. “He lost nothing, no skills or anything. He trained really well.”
Surely, the temptation to throw Lallana into the mix straight out the gate will have sauntered through Klopp’s mind. But maybe for only a second. Because the reality is that Lallana has been out of the team for a very long time and the manager needs the wily, attacking player long term, not to just to fill gaps. With a deluge of matches coming up on the calendar, it’s more important for Klopp to ease Lallana into match fitess.
“In the next few weeks we have games all three days and we will need him for that,” Klopp said.
“So there’s no rushing it even when everybody who knows Adam can imagine how ready he is to be part of the squad again. So, we will see.”
Klopp went on to elaborate on how impressed the coaching staff and players were with Lallana’s performance in training. That he hasn’t lost a step, hasn’t lost his touch, hasn’t lost that loving feeling. But, as always, with these successful managers who preach patience and never let us have any fun, Klopp will take a reasonable approach towards Adam’s recover.
“This is the moment now when the player wants to be back immediately,” added Klopp, “and I’m the bad guy who says, ‘Not today, maybe tomorrow.’
“That’s not too nice but it’s completely normal. I only do it for him and for the club.
“What can I say? We will see. And it depends how the other players are, which shape, how fit they are.
“We will use him for sure but bring him on for 90 mins? Absolutely, no. Not a good idea and will not happen.”
So, we’ll have to wait on Lallana’s full inclusion in the matchday squad. But from the sound of it, we shouldn’t be expecting to wait for too much longer.
“He is very important for us and will be again very important for us. I’m looking forward to when we can use him again.”