Lallana excited for St Mary's homecoming

2024-25/Signings/Adam Lallana/20240529_AdamLallana_065_ww8hgg

Adam Lallana has revealed talk of his Southampton return has sparked plenty of excitement from a host of ex-Saints teammates.

The talented midfielder enjoyed a 14-year association with the club, from the Academy through to the first team, playing a major role in Saints’ rise from League One to the Premier League before his 2014 departure.

Even ten years on, Lallana’s return to Staplewood feels like a homecoming for the former England international, and he’s been bombarded with messages from familiar faces.

“I’m still in contact with quite a few of the boys,” he said. “A lot of the boys have been texting me of late, asking ‘is the speculation true?’ Am I going back home? Am I going back to Saints?

“Everyone seems pretty excited about it and no one more than myself and my family. It’s the icing on the cake that it’s where my wife and kids live, and where my parents and sister and all my family are, so that’s nice, but irrelevant of that I think it’s the opportunity in the football club as a whole, the people that are here and the feeling I got with Russell that really attracted me.

“I’ve got a good relationship with a few of the players as well. I know Taylor (Harwood-Bellis) well from the Under-21s, I know Sam Edozie, and I was here with Jack Stephens as well, so I’ve been in contact with a lot of the players and I’m pretty sure I’ll settle in fast. I’m experienced enough now with a wise head, so I should bed in relatively quickly.”

On his first spell, Lallana speaks in glowing terms about the club and how Saints helped him develop as a player, progressing to become a Champions League winner and Premier League champion with Liverpool, where he spent six years before joining Brighton in 2020.

“It gave me everything,” he says of Southampton. “It gave me the platform, it gave me the opportunity, it gave me a clear pathway.

“When the football club got relegated to League One and there was speculation I might have been leaving, I knew straightaway that I didn’t want to leave, I didn’t need to leave, and then I felt like I just grew with the football club.

“I grew with the football club in League One, in the Championship and all the way through to the Premier League. I felt my development mirrored the football club’s in the end.

“I’m so happy to come back and I still feel I’ve got a lot to give and help. It’s always been a wonderful football club, and a football club I’ve followed even when I’ve not been here.”

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