When Southampton manager Nigel Adkins told Adam Lallana he had been called up by England manager Roy Hodgson for the World Cup qualifier with Ukraine in September, the 24 year-old midfielder thought his boss was joking. Even though he plays for an unfashionable club and has only a handful of Premier League appearances under his belt, the call-up was genuine and shows just how highly-regarded the Saints captain is becoming:
Having joined the club as a 12-year-old, Lallana has shown a keen eye for goal, scoring 37 times in 175 appearances, while a constant source of left flank creativity has produced 11 and 13 assists respectively in Southampton’s last two seasons. Already this term, Lallana has scored once in the Premier League and has also notched up four assists to take his Fantasy Premier League (FPL) tally to 39 points, with 37 points also accrued in the Sky Sports game.
With a price tag of 6.0 in FPL and 4.9 in the Sky game, Lallana is priced attractively and has a kind run of fixtures on his side (SWA, qpr, NEW, NOR, liv, REA). This should offer Adkins’ side the perfect opportunity to bounce back after a 2-0 defeat at West Brom last Monday saw them slip to the foot of the Premier League table, with just one win and 28 goals conceded thus far.
Despite the team’s poor form and woeful defence, Southampton are still grinding out attacking chances. This indicates that even if the team lose, Lallana and Southampton’s attacking assets could still benefit from that upcoming schedule. They have only failed to score twice so far and with 14 goals accrued, have found the net more often than 10 other Premier League teams including Liverpool, Newcastle and West Ham.
While Gaston Ramirez offers another alternative in the Saints midfield and Rickie Lambert is bound to acquire interest up top, Lallana’s strong source of consistency gets the nod; he has produced attacking returns in five of his opening 10 Gameweeks. Indeed, for those looking for a cheap to lower mid-priced midfielder, Lallana is among the best on offer; only Swansea’s Wayne Routledge has scored more FPL points in the 6.0 and below category.