Most assumed that given his injury struggles and lack of playing time, Adam Lallana would depart this summer in search of a better chance of regular football next season. However, the player insisted today that he loves being at Liverpool and intends to stay and fight for hi place.
“I’ll be back,” Lallana told the Press Association. “I’ll be training through the summer. I am as eager as ever to get fit because I know when I’m fit I’ve got a lot to give and I can get in this team. Absolutely no question about it—I couldn’t be happier here, winning the Champions League.
“I know my ability and I know what I can give and the gaffer and his staff and the recruitment guys have all made it clear they know I have a big part to play it what’s to come next, so I’m buzzing with that. No question my future is here and I can’t wait for what’s next.”
Some doubts will remain given Lallana, now 31, has just a year left on his contract and if he stays for the coming season would likely then depart the club in 2020 on a free—unless, of course, he turns things around to the point of reestablishing himself as a regular starter and earns a new deal.
Last season, Lallana managed to play just 568 minutes in all competitions—less than the 818 played by Daniel Sturridge but more than Alberto Moreno’s 344, with both of those players set to officially depart the club once their contracts expire at the end of the month.
Further, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain now back from a year-long injury layoff and Naby Keïta hopefully having put his first year settling struggles and own injury issues behind him going into year two, minutes could be hard to come by for Lallana next season in Liverpool’s midfield.
Still, there are worse things a club can do than keep a well-liked veteran around if he’s content with what is likely to be a limited role and willing to fight for what minutes might be available—and, just maybe, Lallana’s gamble will pay off in the same way Divock Origi’s did this season.