- Rickie Lambert has praised Adam Lallana for his winning mentality
- Ex-Liverpool striker played with Lallana during time at Southampton
- Lambert believes midfielder deserves more recognition for his determination
- SEE MORE: Liverpool loanee returns ‘abominable’ results on fitness tests
Rickie Lambert insists there is more to Adam Lallana than simply his widely-praised technical ability on the ball.
The former Liverpool striker, who played alongside Lallana at Southampton, has paid tribute to the midfielder’s talent ahead of his return to St Mary’s in Sunday’s Premier League matchup.
It remains to be seen whether the Englishman will feature having missed the Reds’ last two outings through injury and received a red card in last week’s U23s game against Tottenham.
Lambert has revealed the admiration he had for the 29-year-old during their time together with the Saints.
“He was just a step ahead of everyone; his touch, his turns, his skill,” he said on LFC Later.
“What I’ve always said about him, which doesn’t get associated with him, is his determination and will to win. He was the captain at Saints for the two seasons before he left. He was only a young lad but he took it on his shoulders brilliantly.”
“I loved his determination to win, that’s what really shone out to me. Everything else that goes with it is incredible too. To share the journey with him for five years was special.”
Lallana has endured a largely frustrating season so far, missing the opening three months through injury and having found it difficult to rediscover any rhythm since his recovery.
Jurgen Klopp has taken an understandably cautious approach with the playmaker, who has been touted as a key figure during the second half of the season following Philippe Coutinho’s £142million move to Barcelona.
With the Reds’ boss likely to make changes to his team with Wednesday’s trip to Porto in mind, Lallana could be a leading candidate to earn a start this weekend if he is passed fit to play.
The work he continues to put in behind-the-scenes warrants a turn in fortune for a man who will undoubtedly have one eye on a starting spot at the World Cup this summer.