By Alex Stevens
Matt Le Tissier has claimed that Adam Lallana was the best recent Liverpool signing from Southampton – and the one that he least wanted the club to lose.
The Merseysiders head to St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday for the first leg of their League Cup semi-final clash against Claude Puel’s team.
Liverpool are expected to field three of their five recent signings from Southampton, with Lallana set to be joined by Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren in the starting XI.
Sadio Mane, the wide forward who joined in a deal worth up to £38million last summer, is unavailable as he is on African Cup of Nations duty, while Rickie Lamber is no longer at Anfield.
Saints legend Le Tissier gave his verdict on the five men who swapped Southampton for Liverpool in the last three years at a combined cost of £95million.
“Lallana was probably the one I was most disappointed to see go,” Le Tissier said, as quoted by the Sky Sports website. “He was always somebody who I loved going to watch and I think he’s turned out to be an excellent signing for Liverpool.”
Intriguingly, Le Tissier rankthe England international above Mane, who has made a bigger initial impact than any of the four who preceded him.
“Mane seems to have shown more consistency at Liverpool, possibly because he’s surrounded by a lot of good attacking players, which obviously helps,” said the pundit to Sky. “I’m quite pleased he’s away for the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday night – but I’d still rate Lallana as our best export to Liverpool, with Mane a close second.”
Of the other three, Le Tissier said Lambert’s move did not work out, although he would not have regretted the switch to his boyhood club at the end of his career, while Lovren has overcome a difficult first season to establish himself, and Clyne has been a shrewd signing.
In other Liverpool team news, the club have made a striker approach and Klopp has personally called the player to smooth the deal.