Jürgen Klopp believes Adam Lallana is reaping the rewards for leaving his 'comfort zone'.
The England international’s form this season has been a cornerstone of Liverpool’s collective improvement, with the Reds in second place in the Premier League at the halfway stage.
Lallana has contributed seven goals in all competitions this term, raising his personal level by adding end product to the energy and skill which comes naturally to the midfielder.
The No.20 is set for another return to his former club, Southampton, this evening for the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final, having switched from the south coast to Merseyside back in the summer of 2014.
And, ahead of the game, Klopp said: “With his quality, I can imagine everybody at Southampton thought he could be the player for the next 10 to 15 years to build a team around. That is how it is.
“But actually I’m really happy he decided differently and wanted to see something else and wanted another challenge and experience.
“He has made outstanding, big steps from an already high level, that is not always expected, and you cannot be sure he would have done the same at Southampton. Sometimes different circumstances help you with this.
“In the first year here, I’m not sure how long exactly because I wasn’t here, I heard nobody was really happy about his performances and especially himself probably, from what I know of him.
“So it’s clear he needed this kind of step back to make the next step in the right direction. He left the comfort zone, if you want.”
The best of Adam Lallana in December