The histrionics about Adam Lallana's price-tag didn't even have any time to burn themselves before he was ruled out for the better part of two-plus months, as he suffered a knee injury in training that kept him from featuring at any point in Liverpool's preseason and their first three league matches. His first two appearances in a Liverpool shirt both came in the past week, with the debut against Aston Villa long-overdue for a player who'd been linked to the club since last season ended.
So now with two appearances under his belt, he's ready to get on with it, though he also notes that he's got some catching up to do before he truly hits his stride in a Liverpool shirt:
"Fitness-wise I feel great, but I still feel I'm getting there sharpness-wise. It feels great to be out there again because I'd not played a game for two or three months. It's where I want to be - I want to be back playing, not sat on the treatment table. It's a great feeling and I'm sure with the amount of games we've got coming up, the more minutes I get on the pitch, the better I'll feel and the better the performances I'll be putting in.
"It's going really well for me. It was difficult to start off with, picking up the injury meant I was out for six weeks and missed pre-season. That was disappointing because you always want to have an impact straight away and I was brought to the club to play football, but ultimately I couldn't do that to start off with. It was disappointing and hard to miss the first couple of games of the season and watch on, but I've worked hard, got myself fit and I'm reaping the rewards now with being back playing. As a footballer there's no better feeling."
That lack of sharpness and match-fitness has been evident in each of his two performances thus far, as have a skillset that will no doubt benefit Liverpool over the course of the season. At his best he'll be a player to help link play through the midfield and final third, and he'll manage to get himself into goalscoring positions regardless of the type of defense Liverpool are facing. Right now it's a matter of being able to contribute for more than 45 minutes at a time, though, and finding his footing after such a long layoff. Easy to forget that, even while on England duty, his playing time at the World Cup was limited, with only one start in competitive matches--against Costa Rica in the meaningless group play finale in Brazil--between Southampton's season-ending 1-1 draw with Manchester United and the Villa defeat.
With four matches left before the next international break, there should be ample opportunity for Adam Lallana to get up and running, and the sooner that happens the better, as he's exactly the type of player that will help to remedy the lack of cohesion we've seen in the past two weeks.