A recent run of injuries in midfield has seen a long-overlooked name back in the limelight for Liverpool, with Adam Lallana not just playing but impressing in recent weeks after many had written off his Liverpool career entirely.
Given his injury record and how little he’s played in recent seasons, it was understandable most wouldn’t see a place for him in the current eleven, but given his chance he has taken it—and he says it’s thanks to the strength of the squad.
“It’s just training harder,” he said following Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham when asked about his recent performances. “When you’re not playing, it’s hard to maintain your fitness levels to come back in and be able to perform.
“So you have to train harder, train stronger, and make yourself ready, keep on top of everything, so when you are called upon you can deliver. That’s not just me, it’s all the lads and even the kids, too, and credit due to everyone.”
It’s been a common theme for Liverpool as they have improved under Jürgen Klopp, that a strong squad means more competition and raises everybody’s game—not just the players who are starting but the ones who aren’t.
That means that, while he might not play as often as he would like, when Lallana does get the chance he’s more ready than he might otherwise be. The same is true for Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi, and others in a similar position.
Of course, the downside is that, given the strength of the squad, even playing as well as he has might not be enough to ensure regular minutes when everyone is fit. Such is life, though, for any player on the best football team in the world.
“I just want to contribute as much as possible,” Lallana added. “At times you’ve got to be patient, and that’s it. I just take it, another good training week, train hard and train strong, look to perform, and hopefully start at the weekend.
“But if not, then I’ll look to perform off the bench and help us get the three points, which is the main thing. We want to tick each game off now.”