Adam Lallana Transfer Shows Liverpool Are Moving On from Luis Suarez Drama

Mark JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2014

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 24:  Adam Lallana of England controls the ball against Oscar Duarte of Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Costa Rica and England at Estadio Mineirao on June 24, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Adam Lallana won't ever have been praised for simply not being Luis Suarez, but he's about to receive an awful lot of gratitude for the fact.

Yes, life goes on at Liverpool despite events in Brazil surrounding a star striker who remains the subject of worldwide fascination, and they appear to be going on with the addition of one of the best players in the Premier League last season.

NATAL, BRAZIL - JUNE 24:  Luis Suarez of Uruguay reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

After a fee was agreed with his club Southampton on Friday, Lallana has been in Liverpool undergoing his medical, at least as per the BBC and Andy Hunter in The Guardian.

He’ll be joining a club desperate to prove a growing army wrong, as claims that the Reds won't be able to repeat the successes of last season seemingly stack up by the day. Admittedly they are claims that the latest Suarez storm make tough to refute.

As always, the fee for Lallana will be debated and questioned, but as a Premier League force, there probably isn’t another player on the market Liverpool could have picked up for any less.

Overlook the fact that one of them is currently in footballing purgatory, but the club will soon possess four of the six players nominated for 2013/14’s PFA Player of the Year. That’s a pretty good base upon which to build another title assault.

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 01:  Giorgio Chiellini (L) of Juventus  tackles Lazar Markovic of SL Benfica durig the UEFA Europa League semi final match between Juventus and SL Benfica at Juventus Arena on May 1, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Ge
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

And it appears that building is the desire, with that same Guardian piece linked to above claiming that the Reds are also hot on the heels of Benfica attacker Lazar Markovic and exciting Belgium World Cup forward Divock Origi. Attack will once again be the best form of defence at Anfield.

And with Lallana on board, those attacks could be about to become even more deadly.

Opta claims that only four players in the Premier League last season created more chances from open play than the 26-year-old, who is expected to be unveiled as a Reds player along with new teammate Emre Can on Monday.

With Rickie Lambert also on board, Southampton coming to Anfield on the opening day of the season and Suarez shunted to the sidelines through suspension, it appears as though the new recruits are likely to have to hit the ground running against enemies who used to be friends.

A good performance against the club which has been his home since he was 12 will help Lallana settle in on Merseyside and hopefully banish all comparisons with the big-money English arrivals of the past. Nobody mentions Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll at Anfield any more.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22:  Adam Lallana of Southampton celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Southampton, England
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Those comparisons are harsh, however, as Lallana has already proven to be much more of a standout player in the Premier League than either of those two, with his displays deservedly earning him a place in the England squad at the World Cup as well as that PFA nomination from his fellow players.

There will be those who are disappointed that the move seemingly spells the end of the chase for Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri—a hat-trick at a World Cup tends to get your hopes up like that.

The Swiss, who had been linked to the Reds by multiple sources including Nick Lustig in the Daily Star, would have added pace and dynamism to Liverpool's attacks, and would perhaps have improved the club’s fortunes in the Champions League given his experience there with Bayern and FC Basel, but domestic business needs to be Liverpool’s focus in 2014/15.

A return to the European elite is all well and good—and indeed what the Reds have been striving for for the past five years—but their prolonged absence from the competition is likely to result in a difficult draw and a tough task to make it out of the group.

Besting Premier League rivals they almost universally got the better of last season needs to be the primary focus again.

With Lallana on board, that focus should get sharper, but where will he play?

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 09:  Adam Lallana of England (L) talks with Daniel Sturridge of England during a training session at the Urca military base (Forte de Urca) training ground on June 9, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Richard Heathco
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Could he be seen in the hole behind Daniel Sturridge in the opening weeks of the season? As part of an attacking trio with Sturridge and Raheem Sterling? Slightly deeper in tandem with, or in place of, Philippe Coutinho?

Or perhaps even further back, scrapping in midfield with Jordan Henderson as one of the two midfielders in front of Steven Gerrard that England sorely needed in Brazil?

All are questions which will be racing through Liverpool-supporting minds right now, but crucially they are football questions.

And given the week that Suarez has once again given the club and those supporters, for that fact alone, Lallana should be welcomed with open arms.