Various injuries have kept Adam Lallana out for significant spells having been a regular during Klopp’s first 18 months in charge.
Last season, the Englishman worked his way back into the side for a brief spell and produced decent performances.
The 4-2 win at home to Burnley was a standout game. His energy and dynamism was a key part of the side; drawing parallels to his 16/17 campaign during which he had his best season in a Liverpool shirt.
Now, the 31-year-old has adopted a new position in this Liverpool side. From playing in the attacking midfield role, Adam has now been switched to play deeper. As number six, or the ‘Jorginho role’ as Jurgen Klopp has explained.
The new role for Lallana has been adopted so he has a place in the squad for the upcoming season. Naby Keita, James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson are all ahead of Adam Lallana in the pecking order; and with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s returning from injury, Adam faces the exit door should he not adapt to this new position.
The former Southampton man will have to be content with being on the bench for the most of the season. Fabinho’s form last season led to the Brazilian making the position his own.
Competition at the club
Jordan Henderson’s change of position at the back end of last season – from a number six to a number eight – led to Gini Wijnaldum becoming a backup holding midfielder. However, with Lallana adopting this new role, Wijnaldum looks set to be an attacking option in Jurgen Klopp’s midfield.
Lallana will need time to adapt to the new role, though the questions remain if he is able to handle defensive duties.
Adam is a very talented footballer on the ball and has bundles of energy. However, the ‘six’ role requires defensive instinct and awareness that someone who has previously played an attacking role may not pick up.
The comparison is with the Chelsea midfielder Jorginho and how he plays the role. Last season Jorginho was the subject to a lot of criticism from the media and even the Chelsea fanbase.
Although Chelsea went 12 games unbeaten at the start last season, once teams knew how to control Jorginho, Chelsea had no answer. This could be a worry for Klopp’s side if teams are able to nullify the threat that Lallana has on the ball and expose his weaknesses off the ball.
The decision for Jurgen Klopp to go with Lallana in this deeper role does come into question considering the way that Liverpool play.
Liverpool play through the full-backs and finding pockets in behind the opposition’s midfield; without the need of going through the spine of the team.
Fabinho is a completely different type of holding midfielder to Lallana. The Brazilian is one of the best sixes at winning the ball back from opponents with his great positioning and tough tackling.
The ‘Jorginho’ midfielder is someone who the play is dictated through them with long-range passing and short quick passing triangles. These try and create spaces for others in attacking scenarios which isn’t how Liverpool play predominantly.
Liverpool fans may not be happy with the reinvention of Adam Lallana. Some fans believe his time at the European Champions is up. However, Klopp’s admiration of Adam Lallana is massive and despite his injury record, the German is determined to keep him in the squad for the upcoming season.