Adam Lallana says he feels 'privileged' to return to training with Liverpool for their tour of the United States as he targets full fitness ahead of a season he believes will be the most competitive yet.
After featuring for England at Euro 2016, the No.20 met up with his Anfield teammates in the team hotel when the squad touched down in America on Thursday.
Jürgen Klopp’s charges start their tour on July 28 when they face Chelsea in the International Challenge Cup at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena. The Reds then face AC Milan on July 31 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara before finishing their tour with a match against AS Roma on August 2 at the Busch Stadium.
Lallana insists the trip to the US is ideal for the Liverpool players to get in the best possible shape ahead of the 2016-17 season.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, he said: “How can you not be happy? Look at the environment we are working in - we are very privileged and lucky to be here and working in such a great environment.
“I’m ready to come back now. I’ve had three-and-a-half weeks off which is all you need really, because sometimes you can have too much time off, so it’s nice to meet up with the lads and get right back into it.
“It’s important you have your rest and let your body recover because it’s a long old season and this season is going to be the same.
“It’s going to be competitive and I think the league this season is going to be the strongest it has ever been and although we’ve joined up with the squad a little bit later we are still in good shape and we’ve not been off for too long.”
The former Southampton star says he feels sharp despite his break, and admitted he can’t wait for his first taste of action in pre-season.
He added: “I’m sure it [the training] will be a little bit different to the lads who have already come back, but I’ll be looking to get a few days good training under my belt then hopefully get some minutes in our next game and get going as soon as possible.”
Lallana also welcomed the new additions to the squad, with Loris Karius, Joel Matip, Sadio Mane and Marko Grujic all having signed in, plus goalkeeper Alex Manninger today.
He added: “[I’m] very pleased and it’s always good to get the business done early and I’m sure they might be one or two more coming in and maybe meeting us over here.
“It’s nice to be out here with them and get bonding and start working with them.”
Lallana also enthused about the qualities of former Saints man Mane, who he firmly believes will quickly become a Kop favourite.
“He will give us a completely different dimension and off the back of the last two seasons I’m sure we weren’t the only team in for him,” he explained.
“It’s a great capture and I’m looking forward to playing alongside him.”
Click here to view a photo gallery of the players' trip to Alcatraz Island
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