Although he lit up lesser divisions for Southampton, Adam Lallana’s seminal season to date was his second in the Premier League for Saints when he racked up nine top-flight goals. Early indications suggest 2016/17 could well be the campaign that trumps it.
Now at the outset of a third season at Liverpool, the omens look strong that Lallana is ready to add more justification to his £25m price tag of two summers ago and hit newfound heights for the Reds.
With a fresh season has come a slightly different role for the Reds number 20 and, so far, it’s yielded two goals in only four EPL appearances.
We now make it 9/4 that Lallana goes on to better his ‘13/14 Saints haul and breaks the 9.5 goals line in the top tier.
Rather than playing as one of the wide prongs in Liverpool’s three-man attack, Jurgen Klopp has entrusted the England international with one of two central midfield roles in advance of Jordan Henderson as the pivot and he’s relishing it.
Able to ghost in to the box a little less conspicuously than before, Lallana has fired in a couple of crackers against Arsenal and Leicester respectively, perhaps gaining more confidence from finally breaking his Three Lions duck in between his two club strikes to date.
There were encouraging signs almost immediately after Klopp became the 28-year-old’s second manager at Liverpool last October, when the German took an instant liking to his player’s off-ball industry as well as his silky, yet mercurial efforts with the ball at his feet.
An easy criticism to throw Lallana’s way was still a lack of goals though. Despite staying fitter than in his initial term at Anfield under Brendan Rodgers and being given more airtime by Klopp, the England midfielder/forward couldn’t improve on a tally of five Premier League goals, scoring just four in 2015/16.
A word of caution does exist in the pattern of scoring the two-footed maestro demonstrated last term, in that his seven all-competition strikes arrived in clusters of two, three and then two, spanning six games at most.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.