With reports suggesting Adam Lallana will be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season, speculation is mounting as to where his future lies.
Despite suffering with a number of injury issues, the 31-year-old midfielder has enjoyed a glittering career with the Merseyside giants, notching up 175 performances and lifting Uefa Champions League, Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup titles — while a Premier League winners’ medal appears only weeks away.
For all his fitness problems, Lallana remains a wonderfully gifted talent and available on a potential free transfer, would undoubtedly add a ton of talent to whichever club ends up sealing his signature.
So, where could this 34-time England international find himself in 2020/21? We’ve taken a look at some of the dream, realistic and wildcard options. that may be open to him if he no longer deemed worth a place in Jurgen Klopp‘s squad.
They say you should never go back, but surely a return to Southampton, the club that made Lallana, would be the dream?
Lallana was linked with a return to the south coast club as recently as May last year, although at the time, it was thought it’d take a £13m fee to tempt Liverpool into parting ways. Now, of course, we know it’s simply a case of agreeing on personal terms with the midfielder.
Tactically, Lallana would likely have to continue in that deep-lying midfield role he’s been tested in at Liverpool recently, with age and injury meaning he would struggle to cope with Ralph Hasenthuttl’s high-pressing system further up the pitch.
That said, his passing range and ability to take the ball under pressure would make him an excellent No.6 for Southampton, either as back-up to Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Oriol Romeu, or a replacement should either be sold in the summer.
Of course, there’s also the major stumbling block of his relationship with the Southampton fans, which became less than cordial following his departure to Liverpool.
when I see saints fans wanting lallana back pic.twitter.com/E6JqGDz60S
— J (@rxdmond) May 19, 2019
Lallana was quick to go on record to say that although the decision to leave was his, he did miss Southampton ans regrets over a “sour” exit. But a full-page advert placed in a local newspaper thanking Southampton fans was hardly appeasing and those fractures remain to this day.
A return to St Mary’s would surely still be a dream for Lallana, but he’d have his work cut out to win the crowd back over.
Realistic: Leicester City
According to Sky Sports, Leicester City have made an initial approach to Lallana’s representatives and right now, the King Power Stadium seems to be his most likely future destination.
The Foxes face a battle to keep hold of star playmaker James Maddison in the summer, with the 23-year-old attracting interest from a number of top Premier League clubs, including Manchester United.
Should that move transpire, there will be a huge creative gap for Brendan Rodgers to fill and given that he’s the man who brought Lallana to Anfield in the first place, a reunion for the pair makes absolute sense.
Lallana will already be familiar with Rodgers‘ unique style of play, offers vast experience to a relatively fresh-faced Leicester side and keeps funds free for the Foxes to invest elsewhere in their squad ahead of what is likely to be a Champions League campaign.
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Wildcard: Tottenham Hotspur
With Christian Eriksen joining a host of ex-Premier League stars at Inter Milan — where Lallana himself could foreseeably be tempted to go — Tottenham need a new creative hub. The main issue for Spurs, though, is that they didn’t get a substantial fee for the Denmark international thanks to his expiring contract.
Daniel Levy’s unwillingness to spend without first accruing funds is almost legendary, so the Spurs chairman will likely be seeking out affordable options to replace Eriksen over the summer.
Sure, Lallana has never quite achieved the elite-level output in terms of goals and assists as Eriksen but in build-up play, he comfortably matches the former Ajax man and Spurs are among the Premier League sides currently being linked with the England international.
At 31, he would only ever be a short-term option, but the free transfer would free up funds elsewhere for Levy and manager Jose Mourinho to spend on more urgent areas — perhaps a reliable back-up to Harry Kane, or another defender?
Squawka Suggests: Rangers
Lallana was a teammate of Steven Gerrard’s during the Liverpool legend’s final year at Anfield and for a time, was touted as a potential heir to his midfield throne.
Gerrard is now managing Glasgow Rangers and despite faring well in Europe and re-establishing them as challengers, they still seem to lack that cutting edge which has given Celtic so much success in Scotland over the past decade.
Lallana’s fitness issues mean he won’t be able to keep pace in a top-five European league for too much longer, so a move to Scotland would make sense if he wishes to become the fulcrum of a team once more.
“I know Defoe was mentioned and obviously Davis, these two signings have happened, and now I’m beginning to believe Adam Lallana,” former Rangers midfielder Barry Ferguson told PLZ Soccer of Lallana’s potential move to Ibrox in January.
“I think he’s a top, top player. If Rangers get him, they’ve got an even better chance to snatch the title away from Celtic.
“But he is a top, top player. If Rangers pull that off, I’ll need to give them a handshake.”
If Gerrard is to stop Celtic clinching that coveted 10th straight title next season — provided they don’t perform a miraculous comeback this time around — he’ll need serious upgrades right across his squad, starting in the creative department. Lallana certainly offers that.