Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on Adam Lallana, probably Liverpool’s best player so far this season, ahead of the trip to his old club Southampton tonight.
We face the Saints in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final on the south coast, hoping to give ourselves a chance of progressing to the final where we’ll almost certainly face Manchester United, who beat Hull easily in their tie last night.
Lallana is guaranteed to start, likely in the central midfield position he’s been so superb in to date, registering seven goals and seven assists in the Premier League this campaign.
That combined total of 14 is more than any central midfielder in Europe’s big five leagues.
According to Klopp, the switch in position and the fact it took the player out of his comfort zone has been the reason for his monumental improvement.
“He has made outstanding, big steps from an already high level,” he told the Mirror.
“That is not always expected, and you cannot be sure he would have done the same at Southampton,” Klopp continued.
“In his first year [at Liverpool, under Brendan Rodgers], I heard nobody was really happy about his performances — and especially himself probably.
“So it’s clear he needed this kind of step back to make the next step in the right direction. He left the comfort zone, if you want.
“But I’m really happy he decided differently and wanted another challenge and experience.”
In Coutinho’s absence, Lallana has seriously stepped up – but now he has his Brazilian team-mate back alongside him after seven weeks. When Roberto Firmino clicks with those two as well, we’re pretty much unstoppable. Let’s hope we see it in action tonight.