Adam Lallana has officially joined Liverpool after the club reached an agreement with Southampton to acquire the talented England attacking midfielder.
Liverpool's official Twitter passed along details about the transfer:
Lallana confessed he dreamt of playing for Liverpool last season, while manager Brendan Rodgers was clearly delighted by the capture:
AL: “Last season, deep down, I was thinking: hopefully one day I'll be able to play in that team. That dream is reality now.” #LallanaLFC— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 1, 2014
Brendan Rodgers: “We’re delighted to have secured one of the Premier League’s top talents.” #LallanaLFC— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 1, 2014
A full video of Lallana's first interview as a Liverpool player can be seen here:
Southampton offered the following statement to confirm their player's exit:
Southampton Football Club can confirm that Adam Lallana has completed his transfer to Liverpool.
The fee received from Liverpool, although undisclosed, will allow the club to further develop the first-team squad for the 2014/2015 season.
The deal brings a happy conclusion to a long chase for Liverpool, who had initially hoped to capture the England international before he departed for the World Cup, per the Daily Express' Paul Joyce.
His signing will boost the mood around Anfield after the recent news that Luis Suarez will not be able to represent the club for four months.
James Masters of CNN and The Times has no doubt Lallana will be a major success:
#LFC fans - let me tell you now, you have an absolute gem of a player in Adam Lallana. One of the most exciting English players in the game.— James Masters (@Masters_JamesD) July 1, 2014
Lallana has made steady progress during the Saints' rise through the English football ranks in recent years. He enjoyed success in League One and the Championship before finally getting a taste of Premier League action over the past two season.
His first foray against top-level competition initially left a lot to be desired. He scored just three goals in 30 league appearances. There were flashes of a player capable of making a major impact, but consistency was an issue, which wasn't a huge surprise given his lack of experience at that level.
His second Premier League campaign was far more prosperous. He scored nine goals last term and added six assists while appearing in all 38 of the club's league matches. The 26-year-old midfielder also raised his pass success rate by nearly four percent, according to WhoScored.com.
Squawka Football passed along another impressive stat concerning his season:
Adam Lallana created more chances in the Premier League this season (68) than any other English player. pic.twitter.com/iJZQdBwuZC— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 12, 2014
In turn, high-profile clubs took notice and Lallana immediately became a coveted commodity as the focus shifted to the summer transfer window.
He also made it clear he wanted to face the challenge of Champions League football. Matthew Morlidge of the Daily Mail provided the midfielder's comments about the top European club competition and why he got emotional at the club awards:
I'm ambitious. I want to one day play in Champions League and compete for Premier League title.
I got emotional (at the awards) because it's a journey I couldn't have dreamed of but I'm not saying this is the end by any means.
There are going to be some decisions to make in the summer and maybe it all hit home a little bit when I was speaking.
Now Lallana will get a chance to prove he belongs at that level. Although there's no doubt he has the skill set necessary to succeed, there's a big difference between being the focal point of the attack and fitting in with a Champions League squad.
How do you think the move will turn out?
His arrival will give Rodgers plenty of options. Already blessed with Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling behind the strikers, Rodgers can now add Lallana to that mix to give even more variety to Liverpool's attack.
Alternatively, Lallana can be rotated with those two aforementioned names, which will be important during a season in which the demands of Champions League football will stretch the squad.
As long as Lallana continues to build off the success he enjoyed with Southampton, he should prove well worth the investment. It's just important to keep expectations within reason for a while until he becomes comfortable with the hefty price tag.
Once Lallana gets settled, he should shine brighter than ever before under Rodgers' tutelage.