Klopp salutes "rare talent" Lallana ahead of Liverpool reunion
Jürgen Klopp was full of praise for Adam Lallana ahead of the former Liverpool midfielder's return to Anfield with Brighton on Saturday.
Jürgen Klopp heaped praise on former Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana, who he says is one of the best players he has ever worked as the two will come face to face once again when Brighton and Hove Albion are guests at Anfield on Saturday.
Lallana will make his second return to Anfield after departing for the Seagulls on a free transfer in July 2020. Though not always a guaranteed starter with injuries hampering his progress, the former England international's work rate was widely recognised during his six-year spell with Liverpool. Indeed, he would often lead the way with the high press implemented by Klopp since taking over the reins at Anfield in October 2015. And the Reds manager was full of praise for the 33-year-old, who scored 22 goals in 178 appearances for the club.
Still in touch with Lallana
"I still miss Adam, to be honest," said Klopp. "It's not easy to miss Adam because pretty much everybody here in the club still has contact with him. Adam set the standard from the first to the last day pretty much, and it was really impressive. A player with technical skills and that working mentality is rare. If he hadn't been injured as often, he would have been on another level and it was still already great. He's one of the best players I've ever worked with. He's an incredible person as well, so I'm really looking forward to seeing him again."
Klopp also hailed the job done by Graham Potter at the Amex Stadium. The Seagulls, who were 0-1 winners at Anfield last season, are fifth in the Premier League having collected 15 points from their opening nine games. Despite last weekend's 4-1 defeat to Manchester City, Potter's side impressed with their long spells of possession – particularly during the second half of the contest – and the Reds boss is fully aware of the task at hand.
"It's one of the trickiest games [in the Premier League] with the job Graham has done at Brighton," Klopp continued. "To keep the ball and pass the ball the way they did against [Manchester] City is a really difficult thing to do, and they did it. We lost the game here against Brighton [last season], so that’s another warning sign. They're a real threat; they try to create, they defend well. We have to be at our best. I couldn't respect more what Graham is doing at Brighton. I am a big admirer of his work. He's a top-class manager."
Klopp revealed that Naby Keita is available for selection after he was substituted following a heavy challenge by Paul Pogba in last weekend's 0-5 thrashing of Manchester United. The Reds however, will be without Fabinho, Thiago and James Milner.