Jurgen Klopp has reaffirmed Adam Lallana’s value to Liverpool following the midfielder’s latest injury setback.
The 30-year-old has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash at Brighton with the same issue that saw him miss Monday’s FA Cup defeat to Wolves, in which he had been expected to start.
It marks yet another cruel disruption for the Englishman, who managed just 15 appearances across an injury-stricken 2017/2018 campaign.
Having struggled to shake off his fitness woes, Lallana has since been restricted to just three starts in eight outings across all competitions so far this season.
Despite his limited involvement, Klopp is adamant he still has a key role to play.
He told the Liverpool Echo: “I am still completely positive. Would I like to have him available? Yes, 100%.”
“It’s brilliant to have him around as he can cool games down, he can be creative between the lines, he still has speed and all these things.”
“Could he be in a better place mentally? Yes, if he was playing and had scored 20 goals in the last 10 games. But everything is fine. Adam knows that we need him.”
Klopp has been a leading advocate for Lallana’s talent during his time on Merseyside, with the former Southampton man having been a primary enforcer of his manager’s desired work rate and intensity.
Injuries have, however, proven a frustrating hindrance to his role over the past two years and may well force the Reds to strengthen again in midfield when the transfer window re-opens in the summer.
Liverpool meanwhile also remain without Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip as they continue their recovery from respective injuries. The latter did, though, take a significant step during the week as he returned to training ahead of the Reds’ meeting with Brighton.