It’s happening, folks. After months on the mend, midfielder and Klopp favorite Adam Lallana seems to be close to finally reaching full fitness. The Telegraph is reporting that Klopp is putting together a behind-closed-door match over this week, which will include both youth players as well as the senior players who have not gone off to play for their countries. This list includes James Milner, Danny Sturridge, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, among others.
If all goes well, Lallana may be in contention to play against his former club, Southampton, next week when the season resumes. This is huge news for the team, since Lallana’s importance to the team, and Klopp’s appreciation for his relentless pressing, is clear.
Lallana has missed Liverpool’s first 18 competitive matches. He injured his thigh over the summer playing when the Reds beat Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup, a blow which kept him out of the team for nearly the first third of their campaign. If he can return and reach near the heights he’d achieved last season, it would be extremely helpful, especially in the remaining Champions League group stage games.
Since then, having Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, and Adam Lallana playing together has been a fantasy for Liverpool fans. Now with Lallana finally recovering, Klopp only has to monitor the continued fitness of Mané and Coutinho, who are both not at 100%.
Brazil could afford to sit Coutinho, since they have already made it into the World Cup and their two matches are friendlies against Japan and England. He has already been ruled out of the Japan game, though he may yet feature in the England game.
Mané, on the other hand, is integral to a Senegal side still fighting to make it to Russia next summer. Manager Aliou Cissé will have taken note of the 77 minutes that Mané played against West Ham last weekend as a guide for how to use the pacy winger.
After a tough spell, Liverpool might be paving their way towards having a much more pleasant winter.