Adam Lallana has expressed his delight at Liverpool’s progress over the summer months, as well as his belief that the Reds are set for an exciting season after a positive pre-season campaign in the Far East.
Lallana was part of the team sorely tested by a Malaysian XI on Friday, where out hosts held us to a creditable 1-1 draw. However, the result completed an unbeaten tour for the Reds and he was quick to point out the positives.
“The conditions were testing out there both weather wise and with the pitch,” Lallana told the Liverpool Echo.
“We would have liked to have won. We created a lot of chances and we’d liked to have taken a few more, but ultimately it’s more minutes under our belts. It’s been a long tour with four different games, in different countries and different temperatures. But they’ve been good tests for us.”
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Lallana also spoke about the new players that took part in the tour games, highlighting former Southampton teammate Nathaniel Clyne and fellow England international James Milner as two of the most impressive performers, who should help us improve throughout the campaign.
“The new lads have come away and we’ve bonded and got to know their games,” he said. “Clyney has settled in brilliantly as have all the others. James Milner has been tremendous. He has slotted straight into the fold and his experience is going to be vital for us this season.
“There have been some great positives from the tour. Now we’re looking forward to getting home and spending a few days with our families. Then it’s back into work on Tuesday to continue our preparations for the first game of the season.”
However, it was Jordon Ibe who stole the show with his goal against the Malaysians, completing a superb solo effort by dispatching the ball into the top right hand corner of the net with his wrong foot.
“Jordon has been very impressive,” Lallana continued. “We’ve been saying to him to get his shots off and it paid off – from his supposedly weaker side. That shows what great ability the lad has got. He’s got a great attitude and wants to work hard. He will be a great asset for us this season.”
Of course, the Reds are still waiting to welcome back the likes of Philippe Coutinho, as well as new signings Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke.
Our Brazilian pair were given extended breaks following their participation in the Copa America, while the Belgian’s move from Aston Villa went through too late for him to take part in any of the tour games.
“That’s three world class attacking players to go on top of what we’ve already got,” Lallana said. “Then there’s also Emre Can, who is another massive player for us. These are really exciting times. They probably won’t be up to speed yet fitness wise but they will be great additions to the squad.
“Benteke’s a big presence and he’s going to be a massive signing for us. He scores all kinds of goals. He can score them out of nothing and he’s dangerous in the air. From set-pieces, both for and against, he will be important. He’s one of those players you want to have in your side.”