Liverpool signs Adam Lallana from Southampton
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Liverpool completed the signing of England midfielder Adam Lallana from Southampton on Tuesday.
Lallana, who is believed to have signed a five-year deal, underwent a medical at Liverpool’s training ground on Friday after Southampton accepted a reported £25 million ($43 million) bid.
“I’m so excited for the next chapter of my career, coming to a special club like Liverpool,” Lallana said in an interview with the official team website. “I’m quite humbled and I just can’t wait to get started.
“Hopefully I can settle in quickly, and I will give it my best throughout the whole time I’m here. I hope I can add something to the team and hopefully we can win trophies while I’m here, because that’s why I’m here — for success.”
Lallana impressed last season with Southampton, with nine goals and six assists earning him a place on the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.
The 26-year-old was also part of England’s World Cup squad and featured in all three matches in Brazil before the disappointing group stage exit.
Lallana, who has chosen the No. 20 jersey, will now go on holiday before joining his new teammates for pre-season training in about three weeks.
There will be a familiar face around as former Southampton teammate Rickie Lambert was signed by Liverpool last month.
“It’s great that I can continue my career with him as well. That’s a special moment,” Lallana said. ”(It’s) a massive help. I’ve spent the last four or five years with him.
“We’ve had great careers at Southampton and achieved something special, but we’re both thoroughly looking forward to the new challenge. It’s Rickie’s boyhood club and a club I can’t wait to be a part of.”
Liverpool missed out on its first league title in 24 years last season, finishing second to Manchester City by two points following a thrilling finale.
“Watching the run-in towards the end of last season was unbelievable,” Lallana said. “Deep down, I was thinking to myself: hopefully one day I’ll be able to play in that team. That dream has become a reality now, so I can’t wait for that to get started.
Lallana scored 58 goals in 250 appearances during his eight seasons at Southampton, and became club captain in 2012.
The fixture list means Lallana and Lambert are likely to make their competitive debuts at home to former club Southampton on the opening day of the season.
“It would have been worse if it was at St Mary’s, I’m glad it’s at Anfield,” Lallana said. “But to be lining up against my teammates from last year just had to happen. It’s fate. Rickie and I spoke about it, and he said he could have bet his mortgage on it, he knew it was going to happen.”
Lallana is Brendan Rodgers’ third signing of the summer after Lambert and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can, whose move from Germany will be ratified on Tuesday with the official opening of the transfer window for registrations.
“What is apparent about Adam is that his character is on a par with his talent,” Rodgers said. “We believe he fits right in with what we are trying to do at Liverpool. Adam is aware there will be great competition for places at this club and he is hungry to improve further.”
Southampton said it would reinvest the money received for Lallana in its squad for next season.