During his time as a player on the south coast, Lallana was making his name in the club’s academy, while he also spent a month on loan there in 2007.
Lallana is set for a late fitness test for Liverpool’s clash with Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon, after recovering from a groin injury that kept him out of the Reds’ last three games.
However, speaking at his press conference on Friday morning, Howe said he would prefer the No. 20, who has been in excellent form so far this season, sat out.
“He’s a talented player. I was aware of him as a young player, we took him on loan way back under Kevin Bond,” he told reporters.
“You could see technically, very, very good off both feet, had all the tricks that you need, very creative eye, very good passer of the ball, moves very well.
“So I’ve been an admirer of his for a long time, and I hope not to see him on Sunday!”
Howe is likely to call at least one former Liverpool player into his starting lineup, having signed Brad Smith and Jordon Ibe for a combined £21 million in the summer.
Meanwhile, Ibe has started in 11 of his 12 league appearances so far this season, though he has played over 70 minutes just twice, and dropped out of Howe’s lineup for the last two games.
“He’s only 20 years old and given time he will make a real difference,” Howe said of Ibe.
“There is so much more to come, the potential of the player is limitless and he’s technically and athletically excellent.
“Every player is different, people have to get used to our way of working.
“But we’ve seen a lot of good things from him, maybe that hasn’t happened consistently, but for a young player that’s the challenge.
“[You have] to change those moments of brilliance into consistent match-winning efforts.”
Ibe’s next opportunity to do so could be against Liverpool, the club he spent four years with, making 58 first-team appearances, scoring four goals and assisting a further seven.