Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana was full of praise for teammate Philippe Coutinho on Tuesday as the pair returned to Melwood for their first day of pre-season training.
The pair were put through their paces at the club’s training base on Monday morning and were reunited with a number of their fellow squad members.
Great to have the Little Magician as my running buddy today… 🏃🏃 pic.twitter.com/7If5xyrb0K
— Adam Lallana (@officialAL20) July 11, 2017
Lallana was impressed with the fitness levels of Coutinho on the first day back and told Liverpoolfc.com that he can’t wait to be playing alongside him again in the coming weeks.
“Phil and I did it together. He did brilliantly.”
“He’s in great shape. I can’t wait to see the Little Magician back on the pitch again.”
Lallana is relieved to be back at Melwood after a slightly longer holiday than the majority of his other teammates due to international duty with England at the end of last season.
“I’ve had a great summer. It’s always nice to relax with your family and recharge the batteries.”
“But I’m more than ready to come back now. You get withdrawal symptoms! I’ve slotted back into club life as normal.”
“Everyone ticks over in the summer – it’s important. We’re given a programme and it’s important you stay ahead of the game as much as you can.”
“The levels nowadays are always rising and people always want to improve and be better. We have our own tests when we come back to Melwood, to see how fit we are and our lactate levels.”
“I thought it was important, as I’m sure every player has done to tick over during the break.”
Back to business. 🔴 pic.twitter.com/wmS1PLKRDo
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 11, 2017
Liverpool take on Tranmere Rovers in their opening friendly of the pre-season schedule on Wednesday but that game is likely to come too early for either of Lallana or Coutinho to take part.
But Lallana has revealed that if today’s test results come back okay, Coutinho and himself should be able to play some part against Wigan on Friday.
“If the lactate levels say we are OK – which I’m sure we are – then hopefully we can maybe get a bit of game time on Friday. I’m not sure what the manager is thinking.”
“But definitely when we are in Hong Kong we’ll be out on the pitch.”
Lallana wasn’t away from the game for very long but the 29-year-old revealed a refreshed and renewed enthusiasm for resuming work.”
“It’s always a bit strange – you go from spending every day with your teammates and then you don’t see them for six or seven weeks.”
“It’s nice to be back with them and get working hard and get fit. The season is not too long away already.”
“Pre-season is what it is. As professional athletes playing at this level, you need to be fit. You’ve got to trust the boss and trust the fitness team to tell us what we’ve got to do to get in the best shape possible.”
Jürgen Klopp will be delighted to have two of his most important players back at Melwood so early, with Emre Can the only Liverpool player that has not yet returned.