Why Lallana may be better off at Liverpool than rejoining Pochettino at Spurs

Adam Lallana

The Southampton captain is being chased by both Tottenham and Liverpool, but what would be the best move for the player?

Mauricio Pochettino's appointment at Spurs inevitably saw the club linked with a whole host of Southampton stars.

Few performed as well or with as much influence as captain Adam Lallana last season, and though the England man was looking like he might be set for a switch to Liverpool, there are now decent odds on a move to North London instead.

But looking at the current crop of players at Tottenham, as well as the kind of system the Argentine is likely to employ at White Hart Lane, we will look at whether Lallana is the best man for Spurs to spend the bulk of their summer budget on, and whether a switch to Anfield may in fact be better for him.

Firstly, Lallana is a fairly versatile player, something that will likely set him up well if he reunites with Pochettino. His favoured position is playing as an attacking midfielder behind a forward line, though he is also able to play either wide left or right as part of that line. Pochettino plays with this one advanced midfielder ahead of a deeper two, as well as having wide forwards either side of a central striker.

Tottenham already have a squad of international players scrapping for the kind positions the Saints skipper will be looking to occupy, with Christian Eriksen, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Nacer Chadli and Lewis Holtby all attacking midfielders that can play from the left. On the right hand side the club have more traditional wingers like Aaron Lennon, Andros Townsend and Erik Lamela, with the last two more prone to come inside of course.

Last season Eriksen stood out from the rest, with the others enjoying decent periods but struggling to keep their form up for an extended amount of time. It is expected Pochettino will try to get the best out of record signing Erik Lamela, meaning that if Lallana were to come to Spurs he would have to settle for whichever position was available - left wing or attacking midfield depending on where Eriksen would play. That would leave a lot of international players some way off the first team, and it a greater chance that Lallana would be rotated out of the side.

Pochettino has a reputation for wringing the best out of players, and all of the players mentioned above have undeniable talent that they have so far struggled to reach. Getting these players to fulfil the potential people expect of them is different from convincing Southampton players that they do have the ability to be a Premier League team, and then saying they can actually be better than your average outfit.

If Lallana were to move to Liverpool he would have arguably a slightly shallower group of players to contest similar positions with. Rodgers also plays with wide forwards, and one midfielder that is more at ease going forward, but Lallana would be in with a shout of slotting in alongside Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard, with Coutinho his most direct rival.

Whether the 25-year-old could settle in at Liverpool and play as well under Rodgers as he did under Pochettino is difficult to predict, but it certainly seems to be the case that Liverpool would benefit from Lallana more than Spurs, while the player himself would come into a stronger team that seems to have a first team spot readymade for him.

Or maybe Lallana only flourished because he was settled at Southampton? If the Saints make a positive managerial appointment he may yet decide to remain at St Mary's. Clearly, if transfer bids come in for the England man, he will have a tough decision to make.

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