We didn’t see much of Adam Lallana last season due to various injuries. It might have been mostly the same injury for all I know. I don’t remember. There were short-lived returns along the way when Lallana was available to Jürgen Klopp but the Liverpool midfielder wasn’t able to discover any semblance of form before aggravating something inside of his legs again. He would then disappear for another spell in the treatment room and around and around we went.
Lallana would have been relishing the start of pre-season. The minutes the player is getting on the pitch now are crucial if he’s going to kick on into anything resembling the old Cryff turn king. All hail His Majesty.
Despite the England midfielder’s low output last season, Klopp will be looking to Lallana to contribute this time out. A healthy and on-form Lallana elevates the team. His work in tight spaces adds to Liverpool’s ability to break down packed defenses. And while he isn’t terribly pacy in comparison to someone like Mohamed Salah, Lallana is quick in bursts and helps to recover the ball in the press and then spring forward in attack.
Liverpool are expected to be fighting for the league title this season. The additions to the squad over the summer are evidence of those intentions from the club. Naby Keita is going to ignite the midfield. Fabinho does far more than replace Emre Can. Xherdan Shaqiri might actually do all the things we really wish he would. Alisson’s transfer from Roma instantly solves any goalkeeper issues that Liverpool have ever had. Ever.
It’s safe to say that confidence will be high in the squad at the start of the season for taking the Premier League crown from Manchester City.
“Of course we are going to be in the pack who want to chase down City,” said Lallana.
“Hopefully Liverpool and three or four of the other top teams can squeeze a few more points out of City this year and that would make it more interesting.
“It’s a really exciting time, I’m delighted to be at a top club like Liverpool that are going to be challenging for trophies again and I’m looking forward to playing for England again.
“For my club, I just want to take the next step now. We have been in a few finals that we haven’t been victorious in and that needs to change.
“We’ve got all the ingredients there – the experience we have gained and the squad we have put together. The signs are really good for us to go the next step.”
Liverpool have shown plenty of signs of their quality during the summer games so far. It’s all about fitness but there’s a determined look about the team’s play this pre-season that Lallana hails as a harbinger of the football still to come.
”We always want to win matches, even when it’s pre-season,” Lallana said.
“Against United, we were ruthless, although it’s not all about the result in pre-season.
“You are going into games fatigued sometimes because that’s part and parcel of getting fit for the start of the Premier League season. But it was evident against United that we are sharp and hungry.”