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I respect Lallana's wish to be left out ahead of exit: Klopp


Safety first: Adam Lallana won’t play for Liverpool again over fears he could
pick up an injury before his departure at the end of the season

Safety first: Adam Lallana won’t play for Liverpool again over fears he could pick up an injury before his departure at the end of the season

Getty Images

Safety first: Adam Lallana won’t play for Liverpool again over fears he could pick up an injury before his departure at the end of the season

Adam Lallana will not play for Liverpool again as the club honour an agreement with the out-of-contract midfielder not to put him at risk of injury.

The 32-year-old signed a short-term deal to tie him over until the end of this extended campaign but it was always the intention for him to leave this summer.

And while Lallana is available to play should he be needed, manager Jurgen Klopp respects the player enough not to jeopardise his next move.

"It is clear Adam will leave the club in the summer," said the Reds boss ahead of tonight's trip to Brighton. "Now we have a difficult situation, but I will respect Adam a lot. Everything with Adam is sorted, let me say it like this.

"He is so fit, he is training, everything is fine. But yes, the future is his future, and if we need his help on the pitch we can get it. He is there.

"He trains 100% but as long as we don't need it, he will just train. I think there were a lot of discussions about players without contracts, with him there was not even a discussion.

"It was clear Adam would extend his contract and he wants to do that as well, but he will not put any risk on his future or whatever. That is absolutely clear.

"For now, if you ask me about it, I miss already everything about him. He is one of the most influential players in training quality I have ever had in my life. He is an incredible professional.

"So he is one of the most important players of the time since I am here so I wish him only the best for the future.

"From my point of view he is already a legend here, so he can become a legend somewhere else from next season on."

Klopp, meanwhile, believes the doubters who questioned whether Sadio Mane was worth the money four years ago have been silenced by the forward's form.

Klopp was aware there were some critics when, four summers ago, the Reds paid £30m for a then 24-year-old who had scored 21 times in 67 Premier League appearances for Southampton.

After finding the net 13 times in his maiden season at Anfield, the Senegal international has now become only the 11th player in the club's history to register 20 goals a campaign for three successive years.

"I remember this unbelievably talented boy we took from Southampton," said Klopp of his "world-class" forward.

"He was really outstanding skill-wise but had a little lack of consistency which is probably why people thought, 'Really? So much money? You watch the wrong game!'

"Maybe people thought, 'I am not sure he is worth it', but we were 100% sure about him.

"Consistency was the key and absolutely now what he is doing and how he performs is consistent. The level he performs at is unbelievable. He is a complete player, offensively and defensively. He works hard, he is really quick.

"For sure a few things we did from a tactical point of view helped the boys as well and Sadio is a good example for the improvement of the whole squad.

"He has improved a lot in the last few years - and from a very high level already - becoming a very good player to a world-class player, no doubt about that."

There are very few players Klopp has not improved during his time at the club, preceding Mane's arrival by eight months, and the process is ongoing.

Having been able to introduce youngsters Curtis Jones, Neco Williams and Harvey Elliott into his squad, he also has a potential first-team striker in waiting in Rhian Brewster who could save him millions in the transfer market. The 20-year-old has scored seven goals in 15 league appearances for Championship side Swansea and the Reds boss believes that has been invaluable.

"It was unbelievably important and I was really happy we had the opportunity to do so," Klopp said. "In his first proper senior year, he had an awful injury so he needed a really long time which is why when he was coming back we said it made no sense for him not to be here.

"His situation is different to other situations of the boys in the club and we were really happy he could go to his former coach with (England) Under-17s.

"He's had a good season and showed his talent. How it will be next year we will talk with him and his representatives."

The development of academy players has been a successful by-product during the club's capture of the Champions League and Premier League titles in the last 12 months.

"I really like that these boys commit 100% , it's a wonderful sign. The next few are already lined up," said Klopp.

Brighton  vs Liverpool

Premier League:

Amex Stadium, Tonight, 8.15pm

Belfast Telegraph