Adam Lallana is determined to give his all for Liverpool even if he decides to leave the Reds in the summer. The playmaker's contract is up at the end of the season, but Lallana won't let the situation distract him.
He told Off The Ball (h/t Chisanga Malata of the Daily Express): "It's easy to keep working. I'm enjoying playing for the best team in the world, it's as simple as that. Whatever my contract situation is, that will be going on in the background. There's not a chance that that will affect my commitment to this club."
Lallana is revelling in helping the Reds close in on a first top-flight title since 1990. It's something he intends to continue enjoying: "I have given 110 per cent throughout my Liverpool career and will continue to do so, whether that finishes at the end of the season or whether that continues. It's a great squad, a great bunch of lads, and I couldn't be enjoying my football any more."
Injuries have stalled Lallana's career in recent seasons. He's also falling behind in the pecking order because of the quality the Premier League leaders have added in the engine room.
Georginio Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all been signed since Jurgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers in the dugout in 2015. Klopp recently added RB Salzburg's Takumi Minamino, leading Connor Dunn of the Liverpool Echo to speculate whether "the 31-year-old may want to depart for more regular first-team football due to still having a great deal to offer teams."
There may be more names vying for playing time ahead of Lallana, but Klopp still seems to appreciate his value. The Liverpool boss heaped praise on the former Southampton star after Lallana helped the Reds to a nervy 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 29:
Lallana proved his worth against Wolves by assisting Sadio Mane's 42nd-minute winner. It was a reminder of the creative qualities he possesses:
Vision, trickery and technique have always defined Lallana's best game. Ironically, those attributes haven't been at the forefront of Liverpool's tactics in recent years, despite the club's awesome success and consistency.
Instead, the UEFA Champions League holders have relied more on energy and industry in the middle of the park. Those traits have helped drive the intense pressing tactics Klopp loves.
The pace and flair of Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah up top also means Liverpool have had no need of a playmaker. The natural chemistry between Liverpool's forwards means they often create chances among themselves after counter-pressing from midfield has won the ball back high up the pitch.
Lallana's talent ensures Liverpool have the strength in depth in the squad to maintain their path to the title. Yet it's debatable whether Lallana has a future at Anfield beyond this season, with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri also available to offer Klopp the option of deploying creativity from the middle.
Lallana would be a true bargain as a free transfer for a club looking for a busy and elegant schemer to dictate passing between the lines.