Liverpool possess a phenomenal team at this moment in time, with three out of top 10 players voted at FIFA’s The Best Men’s Player of the Year award all playing for the Reds. This means that players that were around before the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are now surplus to requirements, particularly Adam Lallana.
The 31-year-old has been at the club for five years and came in as part of Brendan Rodgers‘ astronomical rebuild after just missing out on the Premier League title the season before to Manchester City. Liverpool’s No. 20 found himself in and around the first team, scoring five goals in 27 appearances from central midfield. Jurgen Klopp came in a quarter of the way through the following season in 2015 and his game time remained consistent, despite a few setbacks with various leg muscle injuries.
Everything changed for the Englishman when Liverpool signed Mohamed Salah from Roma in 2017 for £34m. An unbelievable debut season for the Egyptian saw him find the net 42 times in 49 outings, setting endless amounts of records in the process. To add to Lallana’s woes, he then suffered two separate hamstring injuries, one during a 2-1 win against Crystal Palace, sidelining him for the majority of the season.
Lallana has not looked the same intricate, confident and versatile midfielder since those hitches occurred. Furthermore, competition for places at the club is more demanding due to the world-class talent in Salah and Mane ahead of him. These are two players that the former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o believed were worthy contenders to win the FIFA Men’s Player prize.
It’s difficult to see where the former Southampton player would fit in the side. Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have secured their place on Jurgen Klopp’s teamsheet for the foreseeable future after months of consistency. Naby Keita is still yet to come back from injury. James Milner can feature both in the middle and at left-back if required and Georginio Wijnaldum can be an impact player, as seen against Barcelona in the Champions League. Lallana is way down the Anfield pecking order and with 12 months left on his contract, the best decision for both parties is to release Lallana at the end of the season and pave way for the next generation of young talent.