The admiration between Brendan Rodgers and Adam Lallana goes both ways.
And, with The Telegraph reporting that Leicester City are rivalling West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur for the signature of a soon-to-be free agent Premier League star, the presence of a sweet-talking Northern Irishman in the King Power dugout does The Foxes’s hopes of winning the race no harm whatsoever.
If Liverpool ‘sold Elvis and bought The Beatles’ during the summer of 2014, trying and failing to replace the talismanic presence of Luis Suarez with a cumulative splurge on Rickie Lambert, Lazar Markovic, Fabio Borini and co, at least Lallana was the John Lennon of the bunch.
By the time his contract expires in July, the former Southampton skipper will have spent six years at Anfield, adding a more-than-likely Premier League title to last season’s Champions League success.
It was Rodgers who brought Lallana to Liverpool for a cool £25 million and, although the twinkle-toed playmaker produced his best displays in that famous red shirt during the thrilling-but-flawed days of the early Jurgen Klopp era, a long-serving 31-year-old has plenty of admiration for the man who opened the door in the first place.
"Working for Brendan has been brilliant," Lallana told NBC Sports five years ago. "He's a great manager, he's very hands-on, works very much with the players, and his man-management skills are good.
"He even speaks Spanish to a lot of the lads who can't speak English. He's tactically clever and sees things. And he always wants to improve. He's always watching games, looking to tweak things differently. He's a very, very clever manager."
Flash forward to the present day and Rodgers is a far better, well-rounded coach than the one who took Liverpool to the brink of glory. And Lallana, a player who has carved out a career at the top level thanks to his touch, technique and vision rather than any notable physical gifts, looks a perfect fit for one of the purest tactical minds in the game.
Rodgers’ Leicester side are among the Premier League’s most impressive, eye-catching teams and the chance to play in Europe’s premiere club competition under a manager who knows and trusts him well should see Lallana grow old gracefully in royal blue.
Have something to tell us about this article?