For the first few games, it wasn’t a certain thing. There were mistakes, turnovers, a tendency to hold on to the ball for too long in deep positions. For the first few games, it wasn’t certain that Adam Lallana’s move to deep in midfield—his repurposing as something of a number eight—would be a success.
It hasn’t taken long for him to put that behind him and prove any doubts unfounded, as the man who at times has looked the embodiment of Jürgen Klopp’s will on the pitch has quickly adjusted to a deeper and more central role and is excelling. He excelled again on Saturday afternoon against Hull City.
His performance earned him man of the match honours from Liverpool Offside readers and had Jürgen Klopp calling it “spectacular,” as the Englishman proved his worth both on and off the ball. His goal and two assists will be the headline for most, but just as impressive was his tireless work off the ball.
He ran, he tackled, he covered for his teammates. He knew when to push on and when to help provide cover alongside Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum in Klopp’s new-look midfield trio. Despite an advanced role, he had a 94% pass completion rate. The effort was there. So too was the end product.
After taking a few weeks to settle in a new role, Lallana has been Liverpool’s best player in September, and he’s rightly starting to be recognised for just how well he’s playing under Jürgen Klopp, a high-press manager who like Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton seems to know how to get the best out of him.