How Adam Lallana Has Transitioned From Midfield Maestro To Dressing Room Leader

Lallana is a key figure on and off the pitch for high-flying Brighton
08:00, 29 Jan 2023

Brighton & Hove Albion are preparing to face Liverpool for the third time this season as the pair go head-to-head in the FA Cup Fourth Round on Sunday. 

The Seagulls have had the better of their previous tussles in 2022-23. They picked up a point at Anfield with a 3-3 draw back in October, where former Seagull Leandro Trossard bagged a hat-trick. Then, just two weeks ago, Roberto De Zerbi’s side put the Reds to the sword as they comfortably beat them 3-0 at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton are flying this season and are in a strong position to finish inside the top six of the Premier League with Europa League qualification looking a real possibility. They will also fancy their chances for a good run in the FA Cup because they have a strong squad filled with flair, experience and hidden gems they continue to unearth around the globe.


While they have the exciting talents of Alexis Mac Allister and Karou Mitoma, they are balanced out with the wisdom brought to the dressing room by players like Adam Lallana. The veteran midfielder is currently enjoying his third season down on the south coast and is an important figure in the dressing room. His contributions to Brighton’s continuous rise cannot be overlooked.

The former Liverpool and Southampton was once one of the most exciting players to light up the Premier League, particularly with the Saints, but also during his first couple of seasons at Anfield. In his final year at St Mary’s he was named in the PFA Team of the Year. He was a joy to watch and it came as no surprise when Liverpool came in for him in 2014.

While he is mostly remembered for his dazzling performances at Southampton, Lallana was an important player during the early years of his stay on Merseyside. At a time where Liverpool had just blown their biggest chance to claim their first Premier League title in 2013-14, Lallana was one of the few players who delivered consistent performances when a few in Brendan Rodgers’ side were hiding from their responsibilities

Lallana in action for Liverpool
Lallana in action for Liverpool

Once Jurgen Klopp arrived at the club and started to build a squad to his image, Lallana found his place in the side more sporadic. However, Klopp was still a huge admirer for the standards he set in training and his role on and off the pitch. Lallana ended his six-year stay at Liverpool in 2020 having helped the Reds win their first Premier League title, a Champions League title, a UEFA Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup. It is also worth noting that he was undoubtedly England’s best player in 2016 and rightly scooped up the Player of the Year as he stood out above the rest in a very dysfunctional year for the Three Lions.

So when he joined Brighton at the end of his contract, people were interested to see what kind of role he would play after being a bit-part player in his later years at Liverpool. In his first season under Graham Potter he featured 30 times in the Premier League, more than the appearances he made in his last two seasons at Anfield combined. Lallana featured 24 times in the top-flight last term and has so far played 16 league matches this season.

What has been the most striking thing about his period at Brighton is how much his leadership qualities have shone through, and you can see that he is one of the most respected figures inside the Seagulls' dressing room. Klopp used to praise the midfielder for his qualities on and off the pitch, so it didn’t come as a surprise that Lallana was charged with taking over first-team duties alongside Andrew Crofts following Potter’s departure for Chelsea before De Zerbi took over. 

He has been widely praised for his exceptionally high standards in training and there are a lot of young players, including Albion youngster Haydon Roberts who is on loan at Derby County, who have said the standard in training had risen because of Lallana.

It speaks volumes of Lallana’s character that he was also rumoured to be in consideration for the full-time position in case the club didn't succeed in getting their initial targets. Regardless, just by having him around as a player has only boosted Brighton’s chances for a successful campaign. 

Lallana also reportedly had a row with Trossard about his professionalism in training before the Belgian left for Arsenal, further highlighting how much he will do for the team and what he will have to offer when he does transition into coaching. It looks like something he was born to do.

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