ADAM Lallana signing a new four-year deal is the best piece of business Saints could have done this January.
Despite his young age, his importance to the side cannot be underestimated. His attacking flair and finesse are rare traits in English players these days, let alone at this level of the football pyramid.
As the game gravitates more and more to players who base their games on speed or power, it is fantastic to see such ability and technique playing a massive role in the success of a team.
It has taken a long time to get the deal done, which left many Saints fans nervous about the possibility of Lallana upping and leaving St Mary’s for next to nothing, other than a paltry sum set by tribunal.
We’ll never know why the deal was left so late, but the fact it is done is the main thing. It allows the team to be built around the vision Lallana can offer to the side.
Admittedly, talking about him with the superlatives he deserves can be a dangerous game. He is still only 22, so it may be rather unfair to suddenly heap the pressure that goes with lavish praise upon his shoulders.
Also, football is littered with prodigious talents who believed their own hype, only to fall by the wayside after failing to put in the work talent requires.
The handful of times I’ve taken part in interviews with Saints’ number 20, he has seemed to be level headed and confident, so hopefully that will not be an issue we need worry about.
After the news about his contract extension was announced, some fans have begun to make comparisons with Le Tissier, based on technical ability and the oft longed for “loyalty”.
Personally, I think that is getting ahead of ourselves.
While Lallana is a fantastic talent with a potentially a great future ahead of him, he has an awful long way to go before he takes his place alongside players of Matt’s calibre.
But one thing is for sure – like Le Tiss, Adam is the sort of player you will happily spend money to go and watch, just to see what he’ll do next. How many teams can boast that in League One?