Yesterday Liverpool publicly revealed they were interested in signing Southampton's star player Adam Lallana and were hoping to conclude the deal before the World Cup kicked off.
If they are able to conclude the deal they will have gone a long way to solving the only issue with their monstrous attack: efficiency. Liverpool might have scored the 3rd highest total in Premier League history with 99 goals, but despite having a good shot at breaking the Premier League record, their attackers are quite woeful at holding onto the ball for long periods.
As I revealed last week, when you compare Liverpool's front four (Suarez, Sturridge, Sterling and Coutinho) with Man City's (Aguero, Negredo, Nasri and Silva) their is not much in their potency; however, when looking at how many times the aforementioned players lost the ball when attacking, it was apparent Liverpool are far more careless.
This means that when Man City go forward they are far more likely to complete the attack with a shot one goal; whereas Liverpool are more likely to lose the ball at a key moment. This also has the added effect of inviting more pressure onto the backline. This is not a an excuse for the Liverpool defence, they are terrible, but they do not need to have the spotlight put on them further by an attack that carelessly loses the ball. Monday night against Crystal Palace was the perfect example of this.
This where Adam Lallana comes in; he is cut from a different cloth. With 2.2 turnovers per game, his first touch is tighter than Luis Suarez's (2.7). In fact, when you take into account Lallana plays for a weaker club and will therefore be more hurried on the ball, you would assume his turnover stats would decrease further.
The same would go for his dispossession stats which although are rather high at (2.4 per game), are not much higher than Sterling's (2).
Where Lallana really excels however, is his passing accuracy. At 84.5%, his passing is better than Liverpool's resident playmaker, Coutinho (80.2%); Sterling (81.6%) and a damn sight better than Sturridge 79.4% or Luis Suarez 74.9%.
This is down to how Lallana is more meticulous with the ball, whereas the Liverpool forwards, particularly Coutinho and Suarez, like to force the issue at every moment. Lallana has only played a total of 9 through balls and yet has a tally of 6 assists. Compared with Coutinho's 51 through balls and 7 assists, as well as Suarez's total of 37 through balls and 12 assists, you can see Lallana's measured approach is more effective and would offer Liverpool another option beyond Suarez's varied arsenal, Sturridge's poaching abilities, Sterling stretching the defence and Coutinho's threaded through balls.
At the age of 25, Lallana is starting approach what is traditionally thought of as a players prime. With Lallana excelling in the few international games he has played with England, Liverpool have little to worry about with this purchase.
*Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.