Plenty of Adam Lallana next club speculation has begun following the announcement that he will leave runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool at the end of the season.
He has spent six years at Anfield which are all but certain to culminate in a title winner’s medal.
Lallana has been unlucky with injuries in recent times and found it hard to get back into the Reds midfield which has done so well without him.
Wherever he goes next, the former England man will want regular first team football after so much time on the treatment table.
One of three players that moved to Merseyside from Southampton in the summer of 2014, Lallana has played 175 games for Liverpool to date and scored 22 goals.
During his time at Anfield, the Reds have gone from nearly men to European champions.
Lallana’s reduced role in all of that and injury record may have influenced the decision to come to an amicable parting when his deal expires this summer.
He is available on a free transfer and, while Lallana could negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs, appeals as the type to stay in the Premier League.
With that in mind, here are five Lallana next club options he should consider and teams may pursue…
Brendan Rodgers signed Lallana for Liverpool, so it’s an easy link to make between them.
The Leicester City boss has a young and talented team at the King Power Stadium, but could surely make room for him.
Although the Foxes aren’t short of midfield options, there is constant speculation surrounding the future of James Maddison.
He is on course to have his best Premier League season to date, alerting the likes of Manchester United.
Rodgers has taken a firm stance about his current players, repeatedly insisting they are not for sale.
The danger is that Euro 2020 is a shop window for Leicester’s contingent, including Maddison, who could play at the tournament finals.
This also applies to Belgium pair Dennis Praet and Youri Tielemans. Bringing Lallana in on a free to cover any potential loss, or just to increase competition, looks a shrewd move.
The Foxes may have the added enticement of European football in the East Midlands for next season. Rodgers remains on course to deliver a top four finish and place in the Champions League.
That would obviously be attractive to Lallana who has been at a club involved in the last two European Cup finals.
His experience at a time when club captain Wes Morgan could leave the King Power could be useful.
Lallana had a brief loan spell with Bournemouth way back in 2007. There is a good relationship between the Cherries and Liverpool too.
For evidence of that, see the transfers of Jordan Ibe and Dominic Solanke, not to mention taking Harry Wilson on loan this season.
Premier League survival is far from certain for Bournemouth at the time of writing, but Eddie Howe has kept them up before. Many have backed him with the bookies to do so again.
Whatever happens at Dean Court, the talented Ryan Fraser and Andrew Surman are out of contract this summer alongside Ibe.
Harry Arter, on loan at Fulham this season, could make a permanent switch if the Craven Cottage club bounce back with Championship promotion. Howe’s midfield is going to look very different next term.
Lallana doesn’t fit the profile of a typical Cherries signing with a preference for developing talent, but on a free transfer to bolster their ranks it again would make sense.
As with Leicester, Lallana could be a senior player in the Dean Court dressing room and command respect among the youngsters.
A return to the south coast and the town he grew up in may have some appeal for both parties.
One team with absolutely no relegation worries is Sheffield United. The Blades have been one of the stories of the season again.
Chris Wilder has done a fantastic job at Bramall Lane and, provided his team doesn’t run out of steam, there may be European football as a reward for next term.
It’s at that point where Sheffield United hit the ceiling. It becomes a squad game and they need to reinforce their midfield options.
The Blades could lose on-loan Mo Besic, John Lundstrum and short-term signing Jack Rodwell from the engine room over the summer.
Wilder has been very loyal by and large to the players who got Sheffield United promoted.
In order to survive a second season in the Premier League and juggle any potential European campaign, he would have to add strength-in-depth.
Lallana’s old Southampton teammate Billy Sharp is club captain at the Blades. That existing relationship means it’s not impossible that the pair could link up again.
Whether Sheffield United could compete with rivals like Leicester in the wages department is another matter.
Lallana has always been a team player, so it wouldn’t be a case of him being a big fish in a small pond if the project and challenge interested him.
There isn’t a Premier League team that needs more goals and guile from midfield than Crystal Palace.
The lack of creativity from the middle of the park is a longstanding issue for the Eagles.
Just as Rodgers signed Lallana for Liverpool, Roy Hodgson gave him his England debut. Whether the veteran boss will still be at Selhurst Park come the summer remains to be seen, however.
Palace have become very predictable in the way they play. Get the ball out wide to Wilfried Zaha and see what he can do. This is because of a lack of options.
The Eagles’ midfield has no real driving force to it. Luka Milivojeic sits and takes set pieces and Cheikhou Kouyate is a ball winner who gets the team on the front foot.
James McArthur and James McCarthy aren’t goalscorers either. As a Lallana next club option, Palace makes sense because he offers something different to what they already have.
If allowed to play further forward and properly link midfield with attack higher up the pitch, it would add an extra dimension to the Eagles.
This also looks like Lallana’s most realistic option if he wants to play for a London club with too many similar types at West Ham.
If he doesn’t want to relocate from the Northwest, then mid-table Burnley could be the solution.
Sean Dyche has put down a great body of work at Turf Moor and keeps the Clarets operating within their means. Burnley have some decisions to make this summer about a couple of midfielders.
Both Jeff Hendrick and Ashley Westwood are out of contract, so does Dyche move them on and bring in someone like Lallana who is arguably an upgrade?
The Clarets already look to have covered potential departures somewhat with the winter window signing of Josh Brownhill from Bristol City. He is unproven at Premier League level, however.
Lallana for free is exactly the kind of transfer Burnley should be pursuing. Again, their budget isn’t going to be up there with clubs who have overseas investment like Leicester and Palace.
Bringing a Champions League and likely Premier League winner into the fold would be a coup if Dyche could pull it off.
There isn’t a lot of depth to the Clarets squad in midfield, so Lallana really does bring plenty to the table if he wants to remain in his current area.
Leicester look to be in pole position at the moment, but there’s a long way to go before the summer and the Lallana next club is revealed.