Adam Lallana will see out the 2019-20 season in Red and lift the Premier League trophy, testament to his contributions even when he hasn’t played and to his role over the years as one of Jürgen Klopp’s favourites in the squad.
Then, once the season does end, he will move on—almost certainly to another Premier League club. For now, though, his focus remains at Liverpool and his manager was ecstatic to see his extension made official.
“I know how highly sought after Adam is in this moment by other clubs who want him for next season, so for him this is a commitment to us and we are very appreciative to him for it,” noted Klopp of Lallana’s decision to stay on in a limited role.
“This is absolutely how it should be, too, [and] it is not possible for me to find words in the English language to properly explain the importance of Adam Lallana during my period of being manager of this club.”
Limited minutes and a key role in training and as an off-pitch leader may not have been what anyone expected for Lallana early in Klopp’s tenure, but even if it’s a far cry from the days when he was one of the first names on the teamsheet, it’s clear how much the manager values him.
It’s also a decision that puts Lallana at a small but real risk, as any injury in the final weeks of the season could jeopardize his next move. Still, for everyone—player, manager, and club—it’s hard to say sticking around and seeing out the season doesn’t make sense.
His role, though, won’t suddenly change—he may even see the pitch less than before coronavirus put it on hold, with the player and manager in agreement the priority is minutes for players who will be here next season.
“In the conversations we have had, he has been the first to express that my priority as a manager needs to be the players who are at this club for longer,” Klopp added. “He wants to finish the job and do it properly, but it says everything about him that his biggest concern was blocking the progress and opportunity of a player who is [here] next season also.
“But his role is too important to lose him before this season is done. So, it’s fantastic we can delay our messages of gratitude and good luck until the end of July now.”