Steve Bruce has been casting admiring glances in the direction of Adam Lallana for an awfully long time. Over a decade, to be precise.
And with the contract of a long-serving Liverpool star due to expire at the end of the season, the Newcastle United manager perhaps has one last chance to finally snap up a man who first caught his eye when he was prowling the touchline a few miles down the road at the Stadium of Light.
“Lallana has a big future. He is an exceptionally gifted player,” Bruce told The Independent after the then-Southampton skipper tore his Hull City team apart in a 4-1 win at St Mary’s.
The England international was at his free-flowing best back in 2013, the beating heart of Mauricio Pochettino’s exhilarating Saints side. But, if Bruce had got his wish, Lallana would have swapped Southampton for Sunderland in 2009, when he was a budding 20-year-old with the world at his feet.
And, some 11 years on, it looks like one of the Premier League’s most experienced tacticians has not given up hope of luring a player with the touch, vision and class befitting of his Spanish surname to the North East.
According to The Chronicle, Bruce would ‘love’ to snap up Lallana on a free. You bet he would.
His Newcastle side make Burnley look like peak-Barcelona at times. But adding Lallana to the ranks, so soon after landing Valentino Lazaro and Nabil Bentaleb, would certainly help to transform The Magpies from a team so reliant on set-pieces and a deep defensive block into a free-flowing unit who actually look comfortable with the ball at their feet.
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