Adam Lallana has agreed to a short-term contract extension at Liverpool so he can see out the 2019-20 season at Anfield.
Lallana, 32, has been at Liverpool since 2014 and despite injury problems in recent seasons he has become a key figure of helping Jurgen Klopp behind-the-scenes.
The England international was out of contract on June 30 but now remain at Liverpool until the end of the July when the current season is over, then become a free agent with plenty of clubs eager to sign him.
“I am really pleased to have the chance to finish this season – it means a lot to me and my family,” Lallana said about the extension. “Now isn’t the moment to review my time here because the focus needs to be on the remaining nine matches and the club finishing the season in the best manner possible. Of course, one of the big personal positives about committing to this short-term extension is that I will now get to say goodbye to the people who mean so much to me in the right way.”
Lallana and Klopp waxed lyrical about one another and they have been extremely close ever since Klopp took charge in the fall of 2015.
“I know how highly sought after Adam is in this moment by other clubs who want him for next season, so for him this is a commitment to us and we are very appreciative to him for it,” Klopp said. “This is absolutely how it should be, too, because I am so pleased he will be with us to finish the job this season and have the farewell he deserves so much. It is not possible for me to find words in the English language to properly explain the importance of Adam Lallana during my period of being manager of this club.”
Despite consistent injury problems, Lallana’s quality when he has played is undoubted but his chances have been limited in recent seasons so he has played a supporting role on the training ground and from the bench. He did jump off the bench to score a late equalizer at Man United this season and everyone knows how important not losing to their bitter rivals is.
He has scored 22 goals in 178 appearances for Liverpool and on average he’s played 29 times per season for the Reds since 2014. 21 of his 22 goals came in his first three seasons for Liverpool and in the last three he has been limited to substitute appearances as injuries and the form of Salah, Mane and Firmino, plus Wijnaldum and Henderson, has made it tough for him.
People may forget that Lallana was named the English national team player of the year for 2016 and when he swapped Southampton for Liverpool in 2014 for $30 million it was a huge coup for the Anfield club.
Where next for Lallana after this extension is over? He has been heavily linked with a move to Leicester City, where Brendan Rodgers, the man who signed him for Liverpool, is manager. Burnley are also reportedly interested in Lallana, who is clever on the ball, can see a pass and is able to play anywhere across the attacking midfield positions. He would be a very good pick-up for most Premier League clubs, especially as the coronavirus pandemic means that finances will be tight and free agents are highly sought after right now.
For now, he will stay at Liverpool as he looks certain to add a Premier League title to a Champions League trophy to see out his time on Merseyside. All things considered, not a bad Liverpool career for Lallana.