One to Watch - Adam Lallana
Name: Adam Lallana
Date of Birth: 10/5/1988
Former Clubs: Bournemouth
League Appearances (Goals): 181 (37)
International Appearances (Goals): 0 (0)
Stat of the Day: Adam Lallana has made four assists this season
Player Profile: The closest an academy product at QPR has come to gracing the Loftus Road pitch has been waving to the fans during a half time interval whilst parading some kind of futile youth trophy; Southampton, on the other hand, can pride themselves on the success of numerous internationals and prospective world beaters. Clearly, they are doing something right. One such groomed player, who they have managed to hold onto thus far, is Adam Lallana. Friends with Bale, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana has seen his teammates depart for brighter horizons while he has stayed at St Marys and propelled Southampton from League One anonymity to Premier League fame. Southampton fans have eagerly anticipated an international call-up for their home-grown star however were surely as surprised as Lallana was when he was asked by Hodgson to join England for their recent international against Ukraine, just three games into the Premier League season. Should Southampton continue to join QPR in their embarrassing attempt at Premier League survival, a bigger club may come calling sooner rather than later for the 24-year-old.
Nigel Adkins has primarily utilised Lallana as an attacking midfielder set out on the left side of midfield, allowing him to drift infield and cause danger with an impressive array of acute and dangerous passing. His vision and eye for goal makes up for an eminent lack of pace, with Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier comparing ingredients of Lallana`s play to that of his own. Akin to Taarabt`s effective use of the nutmeg, Lallana`s use of the Cruyff turn can be incredibly successful, albeit slightly predictable. With Bosingwa often finding himself running backwards, facing his own backside rather than concentrating on his opposing number, Lallana`s threat from the left wing could well pose the danger Southampton need to plunge QPR into further destruction.
Adam Lallana was originally affiliated with the Bournemouth Centre of Excellence, before he was snapped up by then-Premier League Southampton at the age of 12, with Bournemouth consequently now entitled to 25% of any transfer fee Southampton make from the midfielder. Lallana was heavily involved in the Southampton FA Youth Cup sides that made the final and semi finals in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
He soon made his first team debut in 2006 in a 5-2 victory over Yeovil Town in the FA Cup. In 2007 he joined Bournemouth on a one month loan deal where he made three league appearances for The Cherries. In 2008 the midfielder scored his first professional goal against West Brom and the following season became a regular fixture in the Southampton side. He finished the 2009/2010 Southampton season with twenty goals in all competitions, the first Southampton player to score twenty goals in a season since Matt Le Tissier during the 1994/1995 season.
The following seasons saw Lallana play an instrumental part in Southampton`s successive promotions to the Championship and Premier League where he was nominated for the Championship Player of the Year before losing out to fellow teammate Rickie Lambert. He has scored 37 league goals in 177 appearances for The Saints, with his first Premier League goal coming against West Ham in October.
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