Earlier this week, Liverpool kicked off their second pre-season game with a 1-3 win over Bradford City. It was their last game before they head off to America to continue the preseason ahead of what will likely be a grueling season. Liverpool will be looking to win their first Premier League title, retain the prestigious Champions League trophy, and attempting to go as far as possible in the FA Cup and the League Cup.
With multiple reports claiming that Liverpool will not be adding any significant additions this summer, every member of Jürgen Klopp’s squad remains as crucial as ever. Adam Lallana‘s new position was outlined by Klopp during the preseason; he’ll be looking to gain momentum and hope to become a more regular player at Liverpool in the 19/20 season.
How Does Adam Lallana Fit Into Liverpool’s 19/20 Team?
After the Bradford City win, Jürgen Klopp spoke about Lallana’s position; he went on to describe his reasoning for playing him deeper, citing that Lallana playing in the ‘Jorginho’ role as another option for the club.
Adam Lallana’s Natural Position – Attacking Midfielder
Lallana has spent the most of his career playing as the furthest forward midfielder, having a primarily offensive role. The strengths that allow him to excel in this role include his vision, ability to shoot from long distance, his link-up play, and his final pass. His main role in a system when playing as an attacking midfielder was to create a high volume of goal scoring opportunities.
Adam Lallana’s New Position – Deep-lying Playmaker
While a deep-lying playmaker possesses similar aspects to an attacking midfielder, their roles are different. A deep-lying playmaker usually attempts to set the tempo of the match; they do this by retaining possession and cycling the ball through different teammates. A deep-lying playmaker often positions themselves in front of the backline.
Klopp’s Reasoning For Using Adam Lallana
As of now, it is known that Fabinho is likely to be Liverpool’s starting defensive midfielder in the upcoming season. The Brazilian international started the 2018/19 season slow; he was used to playing in a double pivot in Monaco rather than as a lone defensive midfielder. However, once he got used to Klopp’s system, he added a dynamic that Liverpool have not had since Javier Mascherano, who left the club in 2010. Fabinho’s athleticism helps him move from side to side quickly. He reads situations well to be able to stop passes before it reaches dangerous situations. He also has an excellent tackling rate, usually able to do them cleanly without fouling his opponent. While Fabinho, unlike some other defensive midfielders, can offer more going forward; Lallana as a deep-lying playmaker has a different skill set.
If Lallana does get minutes as a deep-lying playmaker, it’ll likely be against a team that will sit deep. These teams that sit deep often allow Liverpool the possession, and make it difficult for the forwards to create chances. These teams stifle the attacking force, and it usually ends up being a cagey affair. While the sale of Philippe Coutinho did help fund crucial players to Liverpool, like Alisson and Fabinho himself, the club has still not bought a direct replacement for him yet. An attacking midfielder may not be a necessity, Liverpool did win the Champions League without one, but it is a nice player to have.
While Lallana would be playing a different role to the one Coutinho played; Liverpool would have an extra creative player on the pitch, aiding them in creating more chances against a deep-block. This would relieve some pressure off the front three and the fullbacks to create chances.
How does Adam Lallana become a reliable option throughout the season?
There have never been any doubts about Lallana’s skills coming from the Liverpool camp. For him, it has always been about staying fully fit. Since 2014, when Lallana joined Liverpool, he has had eleven injuries, forcing him to miss a total of 77 matches. Because he misses so many matches and training sessions, it is understandable that he is not one of Klopp’s first choice options. Playing in the deeper role will force Lallana to track back a lot, especially when teams will want to hit Liverpool on the counter-attack. He’ll have to be very fit as he’ll constantly be tracking players, and helping his backline; in order to impress Klopp in a role that he is not used to.