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Klopp hails Brighton’s Adam Lallana as “one of the best I’ve ever worked with”

Ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Brighton at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp described Adam Lallana as “one of the best players I’ve ever worked with.”

Lallana left the Reds after six years at the end of the title-winning season of 2019/20, signing a three-year deal with Brighton on a free transfer.

The midfielder made 130 appearances for Klopp, but would have been significantly more had injuries not disrupted his time working under the German, with only 17 starts in his final three campaigns.

Though he has already returned to Anfield as a Brighton player, in Liverpool’s 1-0 loss last term, he is yet to come back when fans are in the stadium.

Saturday changes that, and ahead of the game, Klopp hailed the 33-year-old as “one of the best” he has worked with throughout his managerial career.

“I miss Adam still, to be honest,” he told reporters on Friday.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) celebrates with Adam Lallana after the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. (PA Media)

“We obviously don’t have plenty of sessions during the week, because we play that often, but Adam set the standard from first to the last day. That was really impressive.

“What I loved about him, a football player with the technical skills he has, then this working mentality, is really rare.

“I think we all agree, if Adam would have been a little bit less often injured, that could have been still on another level than it was already.

“One of the best players I ever worked with, absolutely incredible person as well. I’m really looking forward to seeing him again.”

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 23, 2021: Brighton & Hove Albion's Adam Lallana during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Manchester City FC at the AMEX Stadium. Manchester City won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In his column for Liverpool’s matchday programme, Klopp labelled Lallana as “one of the founding fathers of the success this current Liverpool side has enjoyed in recent seasons.”

This is not false praise, with the Englishman a key player throughout the early seasons of Klopp’s reign, his ability to press from the front allowing to set the tone for a new approach.

There will be an element of disappointment, then, that Lallana is facing Liverpool rather than lining up for them still, while the likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Roberto Firmino remain staples of the side.

Lallana has been a near ever-present for Brighton heading into Saturday’s clash, starting eight out of nine Premier League games in a variety of roles from No. 6 to No. 10.

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