Adam Lallana has hinted his time with Southampton may be unfinished after admitting Mauricio Pochettino's side have "big potential."
The classy midfielder, who is expected to be selected for England's World Cup squad on Monday, confirmed both he and the club's ascension is not something he could have dreamed up. Even so, Lallana suggests he is looking to continue improving, as reported by the Press Association and via ESPN FC:
I got emotional because it's been a journey that I couldn't have dreamed of—but I'm not saying that this is the end by any means.
[...] I'm certainly ambitious. I want to one day play in the Champions League and compete for the Premier League title, but I still feel like I'm the same guy I was when we were playing in League One and the Championship.
Lallana's comments came in Southampton's matchday programme prior to the last game of the season against Manchester United. Despite indicating he may stay with his boyhood club, Liverpool's interest should be fuelled by his ambition, per Joe Bernstein of the Daily Mail.
Is it the right time for Adam Lallana to leave Southampton?
Brendan Rodgers' side appear a perfect fit for Lallana. The club needs a thoughtful, versatile attacking-midfielder to sit behind the rapid attack of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, someone to blend the lines between Steven Gerrard and the Reds' forwards.
Lallana can play in the Champions League and compete for the Premier League title if he selects Anfield during the summer. Liverpool fell just short of grabbing their first English crown in 24 years, sitting just two points behind Manchester City this season, but Rodgers' side should be jubilant with qualification into Europe's elite competition.
This progress could keep players such as Suarez at the club. Liverpool legend Ian Rush has urged the Uruguayan to overlook any interest shown during the summer—most likely from Real Madrid—in order to keep Rodgers' men moving in the right direction, per Carl Eldridge and Harry Pratt of the Daily Star:
The club will look to improve the squad for next season and you certainly won’t be improving it if Suarez is not there.
[...] And as much as some people in football don’t like him, they can’t say he hasn't been entertaining this season. Luis has been fantastic.
Rodgers' ability to hold onto his star players will define Liverpool's future success just as much as any signing he brings in. The Northern Irishman can't afford to see Suarez move on, despite his 31-goal haul in the domestic division pushing his price tag to arguably its highest point ever.
The tricky striker defines everything there is to enjoy about Liverpool's attacking play. His cut-and-thrust dribbling style, which makes Suarez elusive on the ball, continues to tear through Premier League defences without a second thought. He is able to score goals from anywhere and is always thinking about his next move or piece of trickery that will see the opposition unlocked.
Considering someone with the control of Lallana behind Suarez is certainly a mouth-watering prospect. Rodgers enjoys utilising versatile attacking types, those who can complete multiple duties during the course of a game, suggesting Lallana's arrival would be a natural development for this year's runners-up.
It is destined to be a busy summer for Liverpool. While links to Lallana are exciting, Rodgers' ability to keep players such as Suarez should be outlined as priority. Without him, the Merseyside club wouldn't have the lure of Champions League football to attract world-class talent.