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Lallana, A Very Important Player For Liverpool – Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said it was crucial that the club had kept midfielder Adam Lallana, who signed a new contract last week.

Lallana, who put pen to paper on a three-year contract on Wednesday, is enjoying his best season since arriving at the club in the summer of 2014.

He has been transformed by Klopp after his inconsistent displays under predecessor Brendan Rodgers had left many questioning the £25 million fee paid to Southampton.

And the manager said: “For me it was clear we had to try everything to keep a player like him. He is a very important player for us.

“I heard when I came in what a lot of people had said about him before I came in, but I actually only knew him from Southampton.

“Since I’ve been here he has been a really important player for all our development steps which we made — not only for him personally.

“I have a lot of time together with the players but I am not in the dressing room so you need to have players there too and he is one of them.”

Lallana’s new contract also has the option of a further 12-month extension which would keep him at Anfield until he is 33.

That length of deal for a player who turns 29 in May also raised a few eyebrows but Klopp has no concerns about keeping older players around his squad.

“He is really a good guy and a perfect age to deliver and get consistency in his performances,” he said.

“I know in the world of football people say when you are 28: ‘Why do you want to give a new contract’ but you need this mixture of different styles of players, different age groups.”

Georginio Wijnaldum, a summer arrival from Newcastle, is another player who appears to be starting to peak under Klopp.

The former Newcastle man put in a highly influential display in the recent 2-0 home win over Tottenham and Klopp said: “He was good, very good. Maybe it was the best performance but I don’t compare.

“It was a good game from him but it was not that simple and we need him [to do it] again.

“Sometimes the players are able to do it, sometimes not. If they are not able and their attitude is still good then I need to find the right reasons.”

Wijnaldum sustained a calf problem in training in the week but it is not expected to keep him out of the side at Leicester on Monday.

However, centre-back Dejan Lovren remains a doubt having missed the last two matches with a knee problem.

The Croatia international flew to Germany to see a specialist this week and Klopp said: “If it would have been completely simple it would not have taken this long time.

“In the end we could not find the 100 percent clue so we sent him to a specialist who found a few things, not directly in the knee where he had the pain.

“The knee is fine but the pain was there. They sorted these things around [it] and when I spoke to him he told me he felt really well when he was running outside.

“He will be very, very close — tight — for the Leicester game, but having him back in training is of course good for us.”

 

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