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Could Adam Lallana Make A Surprise Return To Southampton
Tuesday, 14th May 2024 09:55

Ex Saints player Adam Lallana will leave Brighton at the end of the season, but he does not want to retire from playing just yet, so could a return to St Mary's be on the cards for the man who was once a legend to Southampton supporters.

Adam Lallana has been speaking to BBC Radio Sussex about his decision to leave Brighton at the end of his contract in the summer and he put the cat among the pigeons with some of his comments.

Adam Lallana left Southampton under a cloud in the summer of 2014, up to that point he was a legend to the Saints fans, with 48 League goals in 235 appearances, Lallana started his journey in the Championship for the club and was a big factor in the club's revival and it's two straight promotions back to the Premier League, earning himself his first England caps as a result.

But his decision to leave the club and join Liverpool was shrouded in controversy and it soured his relationship with Saints supporters.

Now he has announced his decision to leave Brighton, despite the fact that the manager Roberto de Zerbi wanted him to stay for another year.

"I've been in talks with Roberto [de Zerbi] for the past couple of months and he expressed his wishes for me to stay and keep playing," Lallana told BBC Radio Sussex.

"But after taking a bit of time to think about where the football club's at, and myself having been away from my family for the past four years while I've been here, I just feel it's the right time."

"I think I want to carry on playing - I still think there's a little bit in the tank left. I just felt like it was the right time to leave Brighton.

"I always said that I never wanted to outstay my welcome at this football club. I wanted to leave when the time's right and it feels that the right time is now."

So Lallana's comments open up speculation that if he continues his playing career he would want to be at a club a little bit nearer his home in the Bournemouth area.

That would perhaps leave him with only 4 options, he could go to Portsmouth, now back in the Championship, that would be within commuting distance from his home, but it would still be a 120 mile round trip.

Bournemouth could be a consideration, but they perhaps see themselves as a club who are looking to kick on in the Premier League next season and signing Lallana who turned 36 last week, might not be the type of signing that they would be looking for.

So that would leave Southampton, however whether we would be in the running is another matter, if we are still in the Championship next season then perhaps it would be a good option, if there is one thing we have lacked this season, it is experience and with Stuart Armstrong out of contract perhaps Adam Lallana could step into the breach.

If we gain promotion through the play offs, then it is not so clean cut, but it could be said that Lallana could be a good asset, at the time of writing he has played in 24 of Brighton's 36 League games played so far, so he still has something in the tank, to quote his own words.

This season has seen him play more games than at any time since the first of his four seasons at the Amex, he will reach 96 Premier League appearances for the club if he takes part in their final 2 games, but around 40% of these have been off the bench.

Indeed in the last 7 seasons injury has hampered his appearances for both Brighton and Liverpool and he has averaged less than 20 games a season in the League.

The point here is that although he is 36, players who have suffered prolonged periods of injury during their career are often able to play longer, this is due to the fact that they have suffered less physical stress on their bodies.

So I am open minded about the possibility of Adam Lallana returning to St Mary's, he would not be seeking a place in the starting line up every week, but he would be an asset coming off the bench and also the experience he would bring to the squad.

However the big question would be whether he would be accepted back into the fold by the Southampton supporters, when he left 10 years ago it was in a cloud and many felt that he turned his back on the club with indecent haste such was his desperation to join Liverpool.

Some will perhaps not be able to forgive him for that, at the time he was alongside Rickie Lambert the most loved player in the squad, when Lambert who left at the same time for the same destination, departed, Saints supporters were able to accept it, in that he was joining his hometown club, the one he had supported as a boy.

But with Adam Lallana it was different, he was seen as one of our own, despite the fact he was from Bournemouth, many felt betrayed, it was hard to take and although he sent a message to the fans thanking them for their support, it was still a bitter taste left in the mouth, due to the nature of his departure.

Personally I could welcome him back, this is football, teams no longer are packed with local lads made good who become club legends, for most of those who play for Southampton or indeed any other team, it is a job of work, yes you can love the club you are playing for and love the fans, but ultimately it is a job of work, the same club will sell you at the drop of a hat if it is right for them.

So I can see the benefits of a return to St Mary's for Adam Lallana, will it happen ? who knows this story is based on nothing but speculation on the comments that the player himself has made, however in football sometimes the unlikeliest things do happen.

Photo: Action Images

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SanMarco added 10:31 - May 14
When I saw the Lallana to leave Brighton story I knew we would get this speculation. I see zero evidence for this. I know in this day and age plenty of people feel that 'truth' doesn't need evidence or any kind of factual basis but I am not one of them. NOT a dig at Nick as this story was totally inevitable!!

WestSussexSaint added 10:35 - May 14
I have no ill will towards AL for moving on to Liverpool from Saints. He was looking to progress his career at a time when his stock was high. However I don’t see him coming back and fear it would be another Theo Walcott signing I.e. high wages for little return except possibly with slightly fewer injuries.

Bowlercow added 10:45 - May 14
Yes let him come back and kiss the badge again After all he did once say I see no reason why I wouldn't finish my career at Saints
To quote Billy Connelly he would be as welcome as a f**t in a space suit

underweststand added 11:17 - May 14
More of the " old guard " names mentioned. After Theo, then Alex Ox..a nd now.. Lallana.
Obviously not 90 minute players every week (injuries permitting) but having a few old heads in the dressing room can do no harm. They know the club well and wouldn't need a GPS to find the way to Staplewood or SMS.
Whether its one of them, or someone else.. it's essential to have experienced players with some pedigree as we have such a young squad - and especially if we get back to the Prem.
; I agree with West Sussex above,

arfurdent added 13:17 - May 14
fook no!

JoeEgg added 13:23 - May 14
Better take him out for a meal Wussell!

benalisbroom added 13:28 - May 14
I remember his PR company taking out an advert in the Echo "thanking" Saints fans when some had questioned the manner of his departure: It was about as authentic as Katie Price's knockers...

SaintPaulVW added 15:10 - May 14
No, no he couldn't.

SFC_Referee added 15:50 - May 14
It wasn’t so much the fact that he left for Liverpool, but rather how he said only a few weeks beforehand that he was gonna stay and made out that saints was gonna be where he ended his career and spent the most time at etc… yet as soon as Liverpool came knocking (who at the time weren’t anywhere near as good as they’ve been in recent years) ditched us. As that’s what got under most fans skins and is why many don’t have an issue with Lambert, Clyne or Mane yet do with him and Van Dijk for how they left us.

Mattsgrandad added 19:05 - May 14
I for one would like to see him again if only for his experience and enthusiasm to work with the kids. If only we could have sir Rickie Lambert back with him.

saintinexile added 21:39 - May 14
ffs, seriously?

NewburySaint added 13:10 - May 15
No thank you - why bring back an ageing prima donna who burnt his bridges when departing previously block up the pathway for any potential promising youngsters coming through....

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