One of the most iconic images of Jurgen Klopp’s first game in charge was an exhausted Adam Lallana collapsing into his arms after being subbed off at White Hart Lane.
It bore the mark of a man who’d run himself into the ground, prepared to sacrifice everything in the name of his side.
Now, Lallana has finally spoken out about THAT hug.
“It was his first game so I didn’t know what to expect coming off the pitch” he said (via Echo).
“He went for a big hug and I just fell into his arms, looking exhausted. His big arms almost wrapped around me twice!
“It has been known ever since that he likes a hug from his players. That is just a sign of his appreciation for you working hard for him, for the team, for the way he wants to play.
“It means a lot that as a player if your manager is genuinely showing some affection to you. If they show thanks it makes you feel good, makes you want to do it again and keep going, work when you’re tired and give it your best. I’ve got a really good relationship with the manager ever since he has come here.”
It’s clear that Klopp massively values Lallana’s abilities. The England international has been almost ever-present when fit and was the German’s go-to man when he needed to switch things up in the League Cup final vs Man City.
“I don’t want to make excuses but last season was very injury hit for me,” he continued.
“It was a difficult season, not just for me but for the team as well. We struggled at times.I’m thoroughly enjoying it at the minute. It would be good to find some nice consistency as a team and
“I’m thoroughly enjoying it at the minute. It would be good to find some nice consistency as a team and hopefully that will coincide with me being more consistent with my performances.”
He concluded by saying he thought he was well-suited to Klopp’s tactical approach:
“I’m a player that loves to press, likes to be on the front foot and have the licence to not worry about what is behind me. The manager has made it clear that he wants a team that presses and counter presses.
Would you have Lallana on the teamsheet, week in, week out? Let us know in the comments.