Southampton Football Club is becoming accustomed to seeing their graduates make the grade at an international level. Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have done so while Gareth Bale is valued as one of the best wide men in football.
They have also become accustomed to a more unfortunate trait with these talents the envy and eventual pickings of clubs higher up the football ladder. But it seems they finally have a player who has stuck by them and has now made the grade internationally.
After a good start to his freshman Premier League campaign Adam Lallana has been rewarded with a place in the England set-up for the game with the Ukraine this week. Whilst there are obviously many injuries in the field at the moment that have helped habituate his presence you can’t deny the boys talent.
At 24 years old he has just become captain of the club he has been at since he was a boy and showed off a matured versatility by dropping into the midfield positions rather than one of 3 attackers in the recently traditional Southampton formation.
Named in the PFA team of League One and the Championship in successive years he has now reached the ultimate pinnacle of a football career, the chance to represent your country.
It is a real testament to Southampton as well that the playmaker has not felt the need to move on in order to eventually make this step-up. Instead he has played regular football during a steady climb up the football ladder. Perhaps there is a feeling of gratitude to a club that helped him through a traumatic heart scare as an 18 year old that had to be fixed with an operation.
Since then he has not looked back and rewards Southampton for their loyalty and support with the success of this call-up.
Gary Neville mentioned during Southampton’s game with Manchester united how England were keeping an eye on his progress, albeit prompted by Martin Tyler’s admiration for the St Albans born stars game.
Southampton can now look on in pride again at one of their home-grown talents playing for England whilst still a Saint themselves, following in the footsteps of Wayne Bridge and the legendary Matt Le Tissier.
A similar future may lay ahead for his current midfield partner James Ward-Prowse, who we tipped for success here at HITC this season, and Luke Shaw the promising England youth international left back compared to Gareth Bale. If Saints could secure their Premier League survival hopefully these, and more players will represent their nations whilst plying their trade at St Marys.
What do you think of Lallana’s inclusion?
image: © joncandy