Young, gifted and Cruyff-like: Liverpool 28-year-old is most improved player in 2016
By Emma Sanders
Football Insider chooses Liverpool’s most improved player in 2016 as the year draws to a close.
There were many candidates for the accolade but none more deserving than Adam Lallana who was also in contention for the Player of the Year award after a sensational rise in form under Jurgen Klopp.
The 28-year-old has been phenomenal this season but there were already plenty of signs he was in top form towards the end of the 2015-16 campaign.
He went to the European Championships with England as one of their best players and alongside full-backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker, he has been the best of his countrymen this season.
Lallana was hugely impressive while captain of Southampton and his £25million move in the summer of 2014 was greeted with much celebration from Liverpool fans.
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However, under Brendan Rodgers he struggled to hit top form and was criticised for making more Cruyff turns in the season than scoring goals.
His work-rate was highly valued and Rodgers stuck with him, much to the frustration of the fans but Klopp has turned his relentless energy into one of the team’s most prized assets.
Lallana has become a key member in the side, leading the effective high-press and intense attacking philosophy introduced by Klopp and is clearly one of the manager’s most trusted midfielders.
He was clearly technically talented but he has now added a goal threat to his game and in turn, has become a complete midfielder for Liverpool.
So far this season, he’s netted six goals and provided six assists in 14 appearances in the Premier League, which is hugely impressive.
The comparison with all-time great Johann Cruyff are not so ludicrous given his immense technical gifts.
In other Liverpool news, Football Insider has chosen this star as the 2016 Player of the Year for the Merseysiders.