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Lallana leads the race for Echo award
Adam Lallana must be one of the longest serving and most consistent Saints stars to have not lifted the Daily Echo Player of the Season award, but surely that will change this year.
Lallana has been in mercurial form this campaign, and even by his own high standards has been a joy to watch.
Those quick feet, that fluid movement, his ability to create for others and score goals himself – he’s simply been too hot to handle for some of the very best defenders in the world. When you consider that a year ago he seemed a mile off an England cap it is a remarkable testament to how far he has come that as we speak he seems all but assured of a place in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad.
Saints fans take a special type of joy in watching Lallana.
Many of them have seen him grow from a raw young talent who had great ability but struggled to carve out a niche for himself into the sort of player who reportedly attracts interest from the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool.
Lallana may not have won the Daily Echo award yet, voted for by the fans, but for the way he has played and led a successful Saints side this season, he deserves for this to be his year.
Picking out a second and third place is so hard.
Jay Rodriguez ends up getting the nod as runner-up due to the goals he has scored.
With 18 in all competitions he leads the way on that front.
Rodriguez hasn’t always been the most consistent performer, he has had the occasional off day, but when he has been hot he has been truly scorching.
His powerful runs from deep and clinical finishing have helped to lift Saints to their current lofty perch, though it is very sad for him he has missed the end of the season and a potential World Cup spot through injury.
It will be a real take your pick type choice for the other top three spot.
Luke Shaw has had a tremendous breakthrough season, Rickie Lambert has led the line manfully as ever, Jose Fonte has been truly exceptional, helped by the arrival of Dejan Lovren, while last year’s champion, Morgan Schneiderlin, has again been superb. Others such as Jack Cork, Nathaniel Clyne and Calum Chambers have all done so well too, but their comparative lack of appearances rules them out.
Taking everything into account Steven Davis just about pips the others to a podium place.
He really has been the unsung hero of Saints’ season.
Not many people realise he has the joint most assists this season with ten as well as chipping in with four goals.
More than that though he has been such a consistent performer.
Every time he has played he has delivered a high level of performance.
Davis, pictured left, has typified as much as anybody the kind of work ethic combined with movement, vision and skill that is Mauricio Pochettino’s style of playing.
There are so many close calls this season, it will be interesting to see how the fans vote.
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