Jordan Henderson believes Adam Lallana has been dearly missed by both club and country during his lengthy injury absences over the past year.
The midfielder is set to be available for Saturday’s clash away to Huddersfield having been sidelined since withdrawing from the England squad through injury at the beginning of September.
His most recent spell out of action followed up an injury-stricken 2017/2018 campaign in which he managed just 16 appearances across all competitions, including one outing for the Reds’ U23s.
Henderson is now confident his close friend and teammate can reestablish himself as a key figure under Jurgen Klopp amid Liverpool’s struggle for midfield creativity.
The Reds’ skipper told the Mirror: “After his problems last season he had a good pre-season then picked up another little injury that set him back. That was tough for him to deal with again.”
“But he is a strong character and he has good people around him, so he will bounce back. Now I see him in training, it’s like he has never been away.”
He added: “He is such a big talent. Not so long ago he was England’s Player of the Year. He is a massive player. I feel that we have missed him, both with Liverpool and with England.”
“It’s exciting for me to know that when he comes back in, he can take us forward even more. He can help us get better and I am excited for the Liverpool and England for him to get back playing football and to show everyone what he is capable of.”
Lallana’s only appearance of the season so far arrived in the form of a three minute cameo against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in August.
His return to action comes at an ideal time as the Reds seek to rediscover an attacking threat in midfield in support of their misfiring front three.
The Englishman doesn’t represent a conventional no.10 option, but offers the forward thinking and vision on the half turn to enhance Liverpool’s transition into attack.
Far too often this season has Roberto Firmino been forced to drop deep as a means of initiating attacks due to the void of a central playmaker between the opposition midfield and defensive lines.
In Lallana, Klopp has another reliable implementor of his high press and a technician capable of engaging in intricate link up play.
Granted, it will take him some time to recalibrate with the speed and intensity of Klopp’s system, but his availability could prove key across a key winter period.