This article forms part of our Transfer Scenario feature, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at a recent transfer rumour and suggests what the potential consequences would be, should a deal be completed.
Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has emerged as a target for clubs in the Chinese Super League and Major League Soccer, according to The Telegraph.
The 31-year-old’s contract at Anfield is set to expire next summer but The Telegraph claimed that he could leave sooner if overseas clubs show strong enough interest during the January transfer window.
The Telegraph added that Liverpool are willing to discuss the possibility of a contract extension with Lallana, whose versatility and leadership qualities have won firm approval from manager Jurgen Klopp. However, foreign suitors may be able to offer him better terms and more regular game-time, with the England international starting just once in the Premier League so far this season.
We explore some of the potential consequences of Lallana’s departure from Liverpool, if he decides to move on from Anfield next year:
Loss of plentiful experience
Lallana is the second oldest outfield player in Liverpool’s current squad behind James Milner, another midfielder who is out of contract at the end of the season and who recently admitted that his Anfield future is up in the air, as per The Mirror.
Despite being plagued by hamstring and groin injuries over the last couple of years, he still has the experience of more than 425 appearances at senior club level, including 186 Premier League outings and 24 appearances in European club competitions.
Even if he has featured only sporadically for the Reds this season, with just one league start and no Champions League game-time, Liverpool would still lose a hugely experienced player from the dressing room if he was to depart the club.
Less midfield versatility
Lallana has been mainly a wide or attack-minded midfielder during his career but he has added further strings to his bow this season by playing a defensive midfield role in last week’s win at Aston Villa, as well as the Carabao Cup victory over MK Dons in September (as per TransferMarkt).
He took up a central midfield position on a couple of occasions this term and made the most of his substitute appearance as an attacking midfielder against Manchester United when scoring a late equaliser at Old Trafford. [via TransferMarkt]
Other midfielders at Anfield may feature more regularly, but don’t have the same adaptability as the 31-year-old. The exception is Milner, who has readily stepped in at full-back when needed but wouldn’t be an attack-minded midfielder in the same vein as Lallana (as per TransferMarkt).
Opportunity for Marko Grujic
Marko Grujic, the Serbian midfielder loaned out by Liverpool, has been a near-constant presence in Hertha Berlin’s team this season, scoring twice in 12 games and setting up one goal. [via TransferMarkt]
The 23-year-old, who is getting ample Bundesliga experience, is similar to Lallana in that he can operate as a deep-lying, central or attacking midfielder.
If he can continue to make an impact in the German capital, Klopp may then feel that he is ready to do likewise at Anfield next season, which should offset the possible departure of Lallana – something that would lessen the midfield competition Grujic would face when he returns to Merseyside.
Liverpool fans, what effect would Lallana’s departure have if he leaves next summer? Give us your views in the comments section below!
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