Jurgen Klopp has welcomed Adam Lallana’s “outstanding progress” at Liverpool – but admits the player’s first year at the club “didn’t turn out as expected”.
Lallana endured an indifferent first season at the Reds having signed in a £25million deal from Southampton in summer 2014.
Then-Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers proved incapable of getting the best out of the midfielder and it appeared he could have been on his way out of the club just a year after his arrival.
It was not until Klopp’s arrival at the club in October 2015 when Lallana added consistency to his game – or, in the words of his boss, “made big steps”.
“He has made outstanding, big steps from an already high level,” Klopp told the Daily Mirror.
“That is not always expected, and you cannot be sure he would have done the same at Southampton.
“In his first year, I heard nobody was really happy about his performances — and especially himself probably.
“So it’s clear he needed this kind of step back to make the next step in the right direction. He left the comfort zone, if you want.”