When Jürgen Klopp first arrived at Anfield, it quickly became clear one of the first names on the teamsheet would be Adam Lallana. Injuries and age meant the player’s key role didn’t last long, but his status as a Klopp favourite never changed.
Even after Lallana joined Brighton in the summer in search of playing time, Klopp’s fondness for the hard-working midfielder has regularly been on display, with the manager quick to reminisce and offer praise any time he’s been given the chance.
“Our visitors today have many talented players but there is one we are very familiar with,” Klopp offered in his pre-match notes ahead of tonight’s game against Brighton—a game giving him his latest chance to talk about one of his favourites.
“I will have to stop myself saying too much on Adam Lallana because I could write a book. And I have to be respectful to the fact he is our opponent today. But I must mention what a special person he was for us—and in truth remains so.
“When he left, I described him as a Liverpool legend and I read somewhere he felt a little embarrassed. But he absolutely shouldn’t. Thirty-six Premier League matches a season I look forward to seeing Adam play. There are two when I do not.”
Lallana’s time at Brighton has been marked by some of the same injury issues that impacted the tail end of his Liverpool career, but when he’s been fit he’s been a regular in Graham Potter’s side and has made 15 starts so far for the Seagulls.
And as was the case at Liverpool, even if Lallana perhaps isn’t able to contribute like he did in his early days at Anfield or when he was with Southampton, his impact and role at his new club goes beyond goals scored or minutes played.
“We would like to have him a bit more but we knew it was going to be [like] that,” noted Potter. “It’s more off the pitch that he has brought a real quality. He’s good around the young players and when he is on the pitch he’s influential.”