Saints skipper Adam Lallana signs for Liverpool in £25m deal
Adam Lallana has signed for Premier League title chances and 2013/14 season runner-ups Liverpool (7/1) for £25m, after passing a medical, and will join recent Southampton teammate Rickie Lambert at Anfield.
Lallana has penned a long-term deal, and £6.25m of his transfer fee (25 per cent) will go the club where he played as a boy, Bournemouth, who included a sell-on fee when he left for the Saints as a 12-year-old.
The midfield playmaker has been given the number 20 shirt for next term, the same he wore for England at the World Cup and while playing for Southampton, and has spoken out about his big-money move.
“I’m so excited for the next chapter of my career, coming to a special club like Liverpool,” Lallana said. “Last season, deep down, I was thinking ‘hopefully one day I’ll be able to play in that team’. That dream is reality now.”
“Hopefully I can settle in quickly, and I will give it my best throughout the whole time I’m here. I hope I can add something to the team and hopefully we can win trophies while I’m here, because that’s why I’m here – for success.”
His new boss Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, added: “We’re delighted to have secured one of the Premier League’s top talents. I’m excited about working with Adam and helping him progress even further.”
The move follows fellow England internationals left back Luke Shaw’s move to Manchester United for a reported fee of £27m, and the £4m transfer of Lambert also to Anfield.
Two earlier offers were turned down by Southampton for Lallana, who was named in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year, but talks reopened when he stated his desire to leave after 14 years at the south coast club.
All three departed Saints players were members of England’s World Cup squad, but an early exit from the finals for the Three Lions has seen them return home.
Lallana has now made nine caps for the Three Lions, including featuring in all three of England’s group games in Brazil. He made a total of 265 appearance for Southampton since graduating from their youth academy, and last term played all 38 Premier League matches, scoring nine times and making six assists for them.
Saints executive director Les Reed has confirmed all revenues from these sales will be made available to new manager Ronald Koeman to invest in the squad, despite reports in the spring Southampton had unpaid transfer fees from their own recruitment and a bill for their new training ground to foot.
“Southampton Football Club can confirm that Adam Lallana has completed his transfer to Liverpool,” a statement on the Saints’ website read.
“The fee received from Liverpool, although undisclosed, will allow the club to further develop the first-team squad for the 2014/2015 season.”
Dutchman Koeman is already reportedly eyeing up FC Twente midfielder Dusan Tadic to replace Lallana, who could cost around £10m.
Ironically, Liverpool’s first game of the season is against Southampton at Anfield on August 16th.
“It would have been worse if it was at St Mary’s,” Lallana joked. “It’s fate. Rickie [Lambert] and I spoke about it, and he said he could have bet his mortgage on it.
“Champions League football is back. Everyone is telling me that the atmosphere on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at Anfield are something special. To think, five or six years ago, I was playing in League One.”
Coral offer special odds of 12/1 for Lallana to be Liverpool’s top scorer next term, and 40/1 to be named 2014/15 PFA Player of the Year.