Premier League champions, Liverpool, have had the privilege of fielding some of the finest names in the business.
They have pitched in with goals, assists, and solidity at the back — ultimately helping the club win the biggest of trophies.
However, no champion side is ever complete without squad players — footballers who don’t always get the limelight but are always there when their teams need them.
The Reds, after ending their 30-year league draught, have bid adieu to two of their best squad players — Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren — shipping them off to Brighton and Zenit St Petersburg, respectively.
Adam Lallana’s contract ended right after Liverpool’s final Premier League game of the campaign, last weekend. The England international has joined Brighton — who finished 15th in the league this season — as a free agent.
The Croat, on the other hand, has signed a three-year contract with Zenit, earning the club close to £11 million.
Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren at Liverpool
Both Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana moved to Liverpool from Southampton in the summer of 2014. Having excelled at Southampton, they needed to make a mark at Anfield and it was never going to be an easy task.
Beaming with established stalwarts, both took their time to find their feet on Merseyside.
In hindsight, Adam Lallana had a more difficult time settling in, as he spent the first weeks of his Liverpool career nursing a knee injury. He made his debut on matchday four in the Premier League, failing to make an impact in a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on the 13th of September.
He took three more weeks to net his first goal for the club. The attacking midfielder opened the scoring in a 2-1 home win against West Bromwich Albion, marking his first notable contribution at Anfield.
Adam Lallana was named in the Football Manager Team of the Decade for his spells at Southampton and Liverpool.
Dejan Lovren, on the other hand, enjoyed an excellent start to his life in Liverpool. The centre-back was immediately given the task of keeping things tight at the back, and he did an excellent job on that front.
For the most part, he was a reliable defender, but he almost always used to produce a couple of forgettable moments — lapses Liverpool could do without.
His wayward defending cost Liverpool a place in the Champions League knockouts, while his inaccurate spot-kick against Besiktas put the Reds out of the Europa League.
The hapless displays cost him his place in the team, and he was named as one of Premier League Worst 20 signings of the season.
After Liverpool booked the services of Jurgen Klopp in 2015, Dejan Lovren got the opportunity to earn back his place in the team.
Racking up a bunch of impressive performances, he emerged as a composed defensive leader on the pitch, mirroring his displays last season.
Next season, he once again endured a poor start to the campaign and was again ridiculed for his displays. After Virgil van Dijk’s arrival, the new-formed Lovren-Van Dijk pairing helped Liverpool to a Champions League final, which they eventually lost to Real Madrid.
Adam Lallana continued to impress in bits and pieces, but niggling injuries never granted him the opportunity to fulfil his potential.
In 196 Premier League games, Lallana managed to bag 30 goals and 28 — an acceptable return for an unfulfilled prospect.
In their final two seasons, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren won the Champions League and the Premier League with the Reds.
They didn’t have telling contributions in either of the campaigns, but the reassurance they brought to the team can’t be taken lightly.
They weren’t superstars by any means, but they managed to fulfil their roles efficiently — managed to ascend as two dependable options to fall back upon.
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