Roy Hodgson says Adam Lallana has played himself into contention for the World Cup and has described the Saints captain as a “major find” for England.
Making only his second appearance for the senior team, Lallana was again one of the better performers for the Three Lions, as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Germany.
Asked whether the 25-year-old had put himself in the frame for next summer’s tournament in Brazil, Hodgson said: “Yes he has, there is no doubt about that.”
Lallana made an impressive debut in last Friday’s 2-0 defeat against Chile, and he produced one of the few encouraging displays for the national team at Wembley last night.
Assessing the midfielder’s contribution over the past week, England boss Hodgson continued: “Very good, he’s been good in both games.
“He’s been a major find, so when we do take positives from individuals certainly Adam Lallana will be high up on the list.”
With just one friendly left between now and when Hodgson names his provisional squad for the World Cup, Lallana has come to the fore at exactly the right time.
Hodgson added: “I was very happy with his two performances, he has shown he is comfortable on this stage and has a lot of skill.”
While the England manager could smile at the emergence of Lallana, there was little else to cheer him following the defeat against Germany.
Per Mertesacker’s first-half header separated the teams, but, in truth, the gulf between an experimental visiting side and one of the hosts’ strongest available line-ups was greater than that.
“The effort, the work rate and desire, I can’t fault at all. But in the time we had the ball in the German half, we weren’t as efficient as the Germans were when they had the ball in our half.
“The quality of our passing and shooting was not as good as the Germans and we paid the price for set-pieces. We knew set-pieces would be a danger, they had some big players and we were a small team tonight.”
Reflecting on the two games over the last few days, Hodgson added: “We’ve used a lot of players and I think it’s been a positive exercise.
“We’ve learnt a lot, positively on some occasions and on others negatively, but I’m rather disappointed that people have come to watch us in these two games and we’ve not been able to send them home with a good result.”