Adam Lallana has completed a move to Anfield in a deal worth £25 million, and the move could be a positive one for the country as well as his club.
What Liverpool are gaining is obvious; they are purchasing a young man who was the heartbeat of his Southampton side at the tender age of 26; a creative force in midfield who helped drive the south coast outfit to a respectable 8th place finish in the 2013/14 season.
What people do not seem to be talking about so much, and perhaps they should be, is how this could benefit the England team. If we look at the European teams who consistently perform the best in major championships, Germany and Spain, then a pattern emerges that players from one club form the backbone of their side.
From the Barcelona side, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Xavi, Iniesta, Jordi Alba and David Villa all played their part across Spain’s period of domination. There is a similar ascendancy of Bayern Munich players in the German national 11; Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Boateng and Neuer to name but a few.
It can be no coincidence then that these teams always performed well at major tournaments, and that Spain’s drop in form reflected Barcelona’s. The amount of time that national sides can spend training together is miniscule when compared with the time club sides have, and the longer a set of players can have to get used to each others methods away from the pressure cooker of the international arena the better.
The starting 11 in Manaus against Italy was already Liverpool heavy, but it is not inconceivable, if Steven Gerrard stays on to captain the side for two more years, that Lallana, Lambert, Sterling, Sturridge, Gerrard, Henderson, and even Jon Flanagan can all play a part by the time the European Championship rolls around in France in two years’ time.
This should give them plenty of time to gel as a unit and hopefully bring whatever success they have with Liverpool to the international side.
So, whilst it is sad for Southampton fans that they are potentially about to lose their leader and best player, it may well be as important and fruitful a move for England’s fans as it could turn out to be for those of the Anfield side.
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