Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana sent a heartfelt message to supporters and teammates ahead of his departure this summer.
The 32-year-old is set to leave Anfield following the end of the season after spending six years at the club.
The former Southampton captain has been instrumental during his time on Merseyside; firstly being a catalyst for Jurgen Klopp during his early years and then taking a greater role in the dressing room as injuries began to catch up with him.
Lallana was pictured in tears several times during and after Liverpool’s Premier League trophy lift, later admitting it was a bitter-sweet moment for him.
Best friends, teammates and now Premier League champions.
— Liverpool FC (Premier League Champions 🏆) (@LFC) July 24, 2020
He sat down with LFC TV for an in-depth interview about his time at the club, from the early days under Brendan Rodgers to present day.
Lallana, struggling to hold back his tears, spoke of his relationship with skipper Jordan Henderson, who has been his best mate at the club since joining.
He also thanked supporters for the “patience” they showed him during his injury troubles. While he says it’s “unfortunate” he isn’t able to say farewell to fans, he insists he’ll be back at Anfield next season to say “goodbye properly.”
“Thank you so much for accepting me, especially in my first year when we all had quite difficult moments – the players, fans – but I really did feel straight away that the type of player I was – and am – they warmed to me,” he said.
“I always feel that if you show a good attitude and you work hard, they will always give you time and after the first tough season it felt like I improved the more I settled. When Jürgen came in we had a couple of great seasons to get us back to the Champions League.
“They’ve obviously stayed patient with me through my injuries and although I wish I could of on a personal note maybe contributed a little bit more, the end goal was always to come here to win medals and be part of a special group. That’s what we’ve done and we’ve achieved that together.
“It’s going to be unfortunate I won’t get a chance to properly say goodbye but I’m pretty sure I’ll be back at Anfield and hunting for three points against them, but I’m sure they’ll give me a nice welcome and it’ll be nice to say goodbye properly and I’m sure that will happen next season at some point.”
Writing on Instagram, Lallana says he feels “nothing but love and appreciation” for the time he’s spent at Liverpool as he thanked numerous individuals during his journey at the club. This is what he had to say in full:
“Nothing but love and appreciation for the last 6 years. Thanks to the amazing people who made this place feel like home.
“To the supporters for accepting me and making me feel like one of their own.
“The staff – the world-class staff – without whom none of what we achieve as players would be possible. I can’t find the words to do justice for how much they mean to me… they are everything!
“To Brendan Rodgers, I will forever be grateful that he gave me the privilege to represent this club.
“To Jürgen Klopp, an even better man than he is a football manager.
“My teammates, they are my brothers. To share this journey with these boys has made me feel the luckiest fella in the game.
“To the Skip, Jordan Henderson… my best friend! No one deserves success more than this guy. It’s meant everything to be at his side while he’s achieved it.
“And to my own family, my wife and children, my mum, dad and sister… my own “team”. They made the good times better and the tough times bearable.
“I am so grateful to have been part of this special place. And now on to the next adventure. With love, Adam.”
Lallana, a popular figure with the squad in the dressing room, will undoubtedly be missed by his fellow teammates. Writing in response to his post, Henderson said: “What a man. It’s hard to see you go and you will be sorely missed.”
While injuries have reduced his influence on the side, Lallana has notched 178 Liverpool appearances over his six-year spell, scoring twenty-two goals and assisting a further 21.
Lallana was thought to be likely to join former manager Rodgers at Leicester City next year, with the Foxes manager reportedly keen to bring him into the set-up at the King Power.
But south coast side Brighton have emerged as front-runners for his signature, with the Seagulls expected to wrap up negotiations with him this weekend.