Jamie Carragher has told the Daily Mail that Adam Lallana reminds him of his former Liverpool teammate Vladimir Smicer.
Lallana put in arguably the best performance of his Reds career in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Manchester City – having missed a penalty in the Capital One Cup final just three days earlier.
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Although Carragher is a fan of the England international midfielder, he feels that Lallana struggles with consistency, much like 2004-05 Champions League hero Smicer.
The Czech scored 13 goals in 161 appearances in six years at Anfield between 1999 and 2005, but was not good enough to command a regular place, making 74 of those outings off the bench.
Lallana has experienced a similar battle since joining from Southampton – 18 of his 75 appearances have been as a substitute – but Carragher sees plenty of potential in the 27-year-old.
Carragher wrote in the Daily Mail: “Missing a penalty in a shootout at Wembley could rattle the confidence of some players but that wasn’t the case for the Liverpool midfielder.
“He did well when he came off the bench in the Capital One Cup final, helping change the game with fellow substitute Divock Origi, but he showed form in the 3-0 win over Manchester City on Wednesday that we had not seen since he came to Anfield.
“There is no doubting Lallana has ability. His energy is impressive, too, as he has no trouble covering a lot of ground. But what he did in midweek, with a goal and an assist, was provide an end product to his game, which even he has admitted has been lacking.
“Lallana reminds me, in some ways, of my old team-mate Vladimir Smicer. He was very good between the boxes and technically he was excellent — you would see that every day in training — but at times he lacked conviction in decisive moments.
“If Lallana — a player who I like — wants to be part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans in the future, the performance he produced against City has to be replicated. There could be no better place for him to make another statement than at Crystal Palace.”
While Carragher’s comparison has merit, Lallana probably has a higher ceiling than Smicer. He is already only two goals short of his Reds goal tally with 11, having played 75 games.
Smicer played in strong Liverpool sides which included the likes of Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Steven Gerrard – he was only ever going to be a secondary figure, although of course he had his moments.
No longer do we have players of the calibre of that aforementioned trio. We are looking for our next generation of top stars to take the team forward under Jurgen Klopp.
Lallana could develop into a really important player – but Carragher is certainly right in the sense that he needs to become a reliable performer week in, week out.
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