The rise of Xherdan Shaqiri at Liverpool has forced supporters to write off Adam Lallana and tip him for an Anfield exit, but quotes from Jurgen Klopp ahead of the trip to Molineux this evening depict a different future altogether.
Lallana’s Spanish roots have manifested themselves in his style of play throughout his career, striving to play football in the manner which is commonly perceived as the right way without ever managing to emulate the likes of native Spaniards Cesc Fabregas and David Silva in the Premier League.
Injuries have been the bane of his career since he arrived at Liverpool from Southampton, and at 30-years-of-age people are starting to question whether his future would best be served away from Merseyside.
FA Cup ties, in this day and age at least, lend managers an opportunity to utilise the depths of their squad, and with the Premier League title in his sights Jurgen Klopp will presumably ring the changes against Wolves this evening.
Ki-Jana Hoever, 16, will travel to Wolves and have the chance to become the youngest ever player to feature for Liverpool in the FA Cup, but a place in the starting eleven appears to be in the pipeline for Lallana if Klopp’s pre-match comments are anything to go by (as per Daily Telegraph).
“Adam is actually in outstanding shape. It’s unbelievable.
“It was close in the last game whether we started him or not.
“Adam is in the best moment since I’ve known him as a person and he will have a big part of our season. In training, everything was good.”
Klopp’s comments may well be designed to boost Lallana’s confidence ahead of a potential start but they suggest he could have a decisive role to play in the title race.
In the midst of a gruelling title challenge, clubs often have surprise packages who make a significant contribution, even if only for a few weeks in the season.
With Liverpool needing to balance European ambitions alongside the title race, opportunities should be forthcoming for Lallana in 2019, so he will need to make the most of his chance to impress this evening to leave a lasting impression on Klopp.
The intricate playmaker may well be one of the most senior players on the field in Liverpool red tonight, and if he wants to remain at the club beyond the summer he needs to justify Klopp’s glowing admission with a complete performance.
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