When Liverpool were first linked with Southampton playmaker and captain Adam Lallana, eyebrows were raised. Naturally so given the meteoric rise in the past 18 months from a gifted but unheralded player to being touted as one of the best playmakers the Premier League has to offer. But does that mean he is worth £25 million?
Arguments for the £25 million pound bid
Anyone who has kept an eye on Lallana for the past few years would know that his talent is not in doubt, he has always been a crafty player, possessing the skill to evade challenges and the vision to unlock a defence. The following clips against Hull City and Arsenal demonstrate a player capable of performing at a high level against two very different teams: one a rugged, battle ready side; the other a slick passing side with a high backline pushing for the title.
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This point is reinforced when you consider he is exactly what Liverpool are missing, an attacking player who is able to be economical, yet effective with the ball.
Finally, Lallana is a model of consistency. His performances this season saw him voted into the PFA Team of the Year, as well as Southampton's Player of the Year and the Fan's Player of the Year. In 2011 he was voted into the League One Team of the Year as he helped the Saint's to promotion and in 2012 he was voted in the Championship Team of the Year as he played an integral part in their back-to-back promotion to the Premier League.
Arguments against the £25 million pound bid
Liverpool's initial bid of £20 million was rejected by Southampton leaving Liverpool with no choice but to dig deeper into their pockets with a £25 million bid. As Southampton mull over the bid the first thing that comes into mind is at £25 million, Liverpool have come dangerously close to rating him at a world class level.
Former manager Pochettino likened the diminutive playmaker to Spanish and Barcelona player Andres Iniesta. Whilst similarities do exist on the pitch, off the pitch there is a world of difference in medals won.
Through no fault of his own. Lallana has stayed loyal to Southampton, rising up the ranks with club. He has suffered the depressing lows of relegation, missing out on the play-offs and the ecstasy of promotions and winning trophies. But this pales in significance to what Iniesta has been involved in: a World Cup Final that needed an extra time winner (scored by the Spaniard himself); the pressure of ending Spain's terrible international record was ended in 2008 was followed by the crushing pressure of retaining the trophy (something never done before until Spain did it); winning the Champions League on three occasions and La Liga on six occasions.
Other relatable deals are Gaizka Mendieta's move from Valencia to Lazio and Juan Roman Riquelme's move from Boca Juniors to Barcelona. Unlike Lallana and Cole, both players were widely regarded as world class before their big money moves. Yet, they could never adapt to their new surroundings and after only a season, they both left.
Lallana's situation is more comparable to their's than Cole's simply because of the money involved. The World Cup would have provided an ample chance to test Lallana's aptitude to pressure but rightfully, Liverpool do not want to wait that long in case it ramps up the transfer fee.
In that case, you can't help but wonder whether Liverpool would have been better off going for Real Madrid's Isco or Atletico Madrid's Arda Turan. They both possess the qualities Liverpool need and unlike Lallana, have been at massive club's their entire career's. Add a few million onto what Liverpool have bidded for Lallana and it is very likely both Madrid club's would have buckled.