Southampton Face Fierce Competition In Pursuit Of Liverpool Playmaker: Right Choice For Hasenhüttl?

According to a recent report by The Daily Express, Southampton are lining up a summer move to bring Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana back to the South-coast of England. The same source has also revealed that the Saints will face stiff competition from Leicester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in pursuit of the English playmaker when his current contract at Anfield runs out at the end of this campaign.

Lallana’s Injury-Ridden Career At Anfield

Lallana has endured a frustrating career at Liverpool thus far as he has struggled to remain injury-free which has hampered his overall progress over the past few years. Since joining the Reds in the summer of 2014, he has gone on to make 175 appearances for the Merseyside giants, scoring 22 goals while providing 22 assists in all competitions. Despite his injury struggles, the fact that the St Albans-born talent has had such a long career at Liverpool indicates that he has the skill set to play at the highest level.

When Lallana is injury-free and playing with confidence on the field, he can sometimes be a joy to watch. He is a two-footed player who can make some clever runs with the ball and possesses the ability to change a game by making a positive contribution in the final third.

His goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford earlier this season helped Liverpool maintain their unbeaten record which has propelled them to go on a long winning run and march towards their first Premier League title. Lallana was also rewarded with the captain’s armband in the FA Cup encounter versus Shrewsbury Town due to his strong mindset and leadership qualities. Therefore, it is no wonder that so many Premier League clubs are hoping to acquire his services for free in the summer.

Liverpool’s English midfielder Adam Lallana reacts after a missed chance during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield in Liverpool, north-west England on January 21, 2017. (ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP/Getty Images)

What Does The English Midfielder Bring To The Table?

Lallana is quite fluid in the way he operates in midfield and is versatile enough to feature in multiple positions across the field. He is primarily a box to box midfielder but can also fill in as a holding midfielder or operate out on the flanks if required. The 31-year-old is a confident dribbler with the ball and is not shy about playing a decisive through pass when an opening presents itself up top. The 34-time England international is also outstanding when he is pressing the opposition high up the pitch which is why Jurgen Klopp has retained his services throughout his managerial spell at Anfield.

Will Lallana Be A Decent Choice For The Saints?

If Lallana can stay injury-free, then he has the makings of a top player. He could still make a significant impact at the St. Mary’s Stadium if he can continue to improve his fitness in the coming years.

Ralph Hasenhüttl usually sets his side up to play a very similar style of counter-pressing football to which Lallana is accustomed to at Merseyside. Hence, it is quite likely that the English midfield ace won’t take too much time to settle into the Southampton first-team. He will also provide more competition for Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Redmond, Moussa Djenepo, Sofiane Boufal, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and James Ward-Prowse for a place in the starting XI.

Even though Lallana’s injury record will be a major cause for concern, the Saints should still consider recruiting him for free as he will be a low-risk acquisition. All in all, the English sensation will be an excellent choice for Hasenhüttl as he would give the ‘Alpine Klopp’ a chance to be more flexible with his formations and tactics next season.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.