Lal­lana could be the an­swer to Eng­land prayers

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! -

ENG­LAND do not have to look far for a player with the X fac­tor – they’ve al­ready got him and he could be play­ing at Hud­der­s­field on Satur­day.

That make-the-dif­fer­ence tal­ent is Liver­pool’s Adam Lal­lana who is set to re­turn this week af­ter a groin in­jury.

His An­field team-mate Jor­dan Hen­der­son is con­vinced both club and coun­try are set to ben­e­fit from a player he de­scribes as “unique”.

It has been claimed that Eng­land are short of a spe­cial cre­ative tal­ent in mid­field like Croa­tia’s Real Madrid star Luka Mo­dric.

But Hen­der­son said: “That type of cre­ative player is rare to come by but the big­gest one I would look at is prob­a­bly Adam.

“He’s that type of player who is a big part of Liver­pool and Eng­land. We have re­ally missed him in the sense of what he brings to the team.

“But we do have other cre­ative play­ers like Dele Alli and Jesse Lin­gard – def­i­nitely. And look at Jadon San­cho who has just come into the squad at the age of 18.

“At Borus­sia Dort­mund he has more as­sists this sea­son than any­one in Europe. So we def­i­nitely have cre­ative play­ers, but, of course, you are go­ing to miss some­one like Adam with his qual­ity. He is a huge player.” Lal­lana missed the World Cup in Rus­sia this sum­mer through in­jury and Hen­der­son is con­vinced semi-fi­nal­ists Eng­land could have done even bet­ter if his good pal had been in boss Gareth South­gate’s squad.

Hen­der­son said: “That was tough for Adam to deal with and we’ve missed him, both with Liver­pool and Eng­land.

“I keep say­ing he is a mas­sive player be­cause he is and I’m not just say­ing it be­cause he is such a close friend. “It’s ex­cit­ing for me to know how much he can help us. He would have been an ex­tra boost for Eng­land at the World Cup. “Age is not a fac­tor – he is only 30 and that is not old. I’m 28 and I still feel young. Adam is unique. I couldn’t be­lieve how good he was when I first trained with him with Eng­land.

“I rated him highly at Southamp­ton and I was de­lighted when he moved to Liver­pool. There just aren’t many play­ers like him. “He is a player who links the mid­field to the play­ers go­ing for­ward. When he comes back he will have a mas­sive im­pact on Liver­pool and Eng­land.”

Lal­lana is so highly rated at An­field that boss Jur­gen Klopp de­scribed him as the “per­fect re­place­ment” for Philippe Coutinho when the Brazil­ian was sold to Barcelona.

That is an­other rea­son why Hen­der­son is con­vinced that things can only get bet­ter for Liver­pool and Eng­land with a fit-again Lal­lana throw­ing his dis­tinc­tive tal­ent into the mix.

PAUL HETHER­ING­TON

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