Liverpool have been linked with a big-money move for Adam Lallana, but here are three reasons they may want to reconsider:
Firstly, let me preclude this piece by saying Adam Lallana is a very good player and has been superb for Southampton this season. However, the 26-year-old is being hailed as the next big thing and I don’t believe the hype is necessarily justified. In 38 appearances in for the Saints this term, he scored 9 goals and provided 8 assists, which is admirable but not exceptional for an attacking midfielder.
When you consider his Saints colleague Jay Rodriguez, two years his junior scored, 15 goals in 33 appearances on the opposite flank, never mind the talent elsewhere across the continent that has matched or beaten his production of goals and chances this term, I think he is overrated.
2) One-season Wonder
Lallana is no youngster, he is well into the peak years of his playing career at 26 and yet this is the first season he has shown genuine threat. Last season he scored three goals and made six assists across 30 appearances in the Premier League and the previous term he managed 11 goals and 10 assists in the second tier of English football.
He shows the capability of being a very good player who is effective and dangerous at a mid-table Premier League club, but he has no experience at continental or competitive international level to speak of. Liverpool are challenging in the Champions League next term with an already relatively young and inexperienced squad and I don’t believe Lallana is going to provide the potency they need on the back of one good season.
To expand that point, his being overrated has led to him being overpriced, in my humble opinion. Reports suggest Liverpool are offering £25 million for the player. The premium on English players is ridiculous and I suspect is a joke all around Europe – when you consider the far superior technical quality of players in Spain, Holland, France and Portugal and yet a player like Andy Carroll can command a price of £35 million, it is quite clear English clubs are being duped.
Antoine Griezmann, for example, at Real Sociedad is linked with an £18 million move to Arsenal. The 23-year-old France international has scored 16 goals and made 4 assists in La Liga this term in the same position, has Champions League experience, and considerably more potential to develop than Lallana, yet the Saints man is ‘valued’ at £7 million more and perhaps in excess of that if his club dig their heels in.
Philippe Coutinho cost £7 million and Daniel Strurridge cost just £12 million, and Adam Lallana is nowhere near as talented as either of them. For me, that amount of money on a player of his age who has had one good season is daylight robbery.