12 Sep 2016

Hoddle raves: £20m Liverpool star can become 'one hell of a player' if he improves in one specific area

Last week, Ireland legend Tony Cascarino insisted that Adam Lallana needs to massively improve his creative output for Liverpool, and ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle has now added his voice to the debate.

After Lallana's first goal for England, Cascarino noted:

"Lallana's [goal] return is not good enough. It’s the same with Liverpool - he should've scored more goals in his club career".

On Saturday, Lallana grabbed a superb goal against Leicester, and after the game, Hoddle mused:

"If he [Lallana] can add goals to his creative play and the good things he does, he'll become one hell of a player."

This is the same argument I've been making for the last two years. Lallana does a lot of good things for the team, but as an attacking player, his primary role is to score and create goals, and on that basis, he's not consistent enough. Stats for Liverpool:

* 15 goals in 96 apps = One every 482 minutes (one goal every 5.4 games)

* With assists: Goal/assist every 249 mins (one every 2.8 games)

By any objective measure, this is simply not good enough for an experienced international in the prime of his career, and no amount of pressing, running, industry, or blinkered pro-LFC bias will change that.

That said, I judge every player on their ability to fulfil their primary role in the team (something that constantly changes due to form fluctuations) and this season, Lallana - with 3 goals/assists in 4 games - clearly deserves his place in the team.

In terms of goals and assists, Firmino, and Mane have also hit the ground running this season, but like Lallana, they need to maintain this form over an entire season, not just in small bursts.

^ May 2016: Linked with a £20m summer move to Spurs.



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