MIDFIELDER Adam Lallana has officially re-signed for Saints on a free transfer, following his departure from Brighton.

The 36 year old played 25 times for the Seagulls in the Premier League last season, captaining them against Manchester United in his final appearance.

The former England international has signed a one-year deal, returning to Saints 10 years on from his exit to Liverpool, where became a Premier League and Champions League winner.

The academy graduate has previously made 265 appearances for Saints, scoring 60 goals and making 45 assists.

He was a part of the group that won back-to-back promotion from League One into the Premier League under Nigel Adkins.

Speaking about his Staplewood homecoming, Lallana said: “I’ve been no stranger – my son’s at the Academy, so I’m in and around it quite a bit, but I’ve not been this close to being home, so it’s amazing.

"It does feel surreal, but it’s an opportunity I’m extremely grateful for and I’m looking forward to.

“When I started speaking to Russell and understood there was a little bit of interest, it was something I knew straightaway felt right in my head and in my heart that it was something I needed to pursue, and it came through in the end.

“I’m still in contact with quite a few of the boys. A lot of the boys have been texting me of late, asking ‘is the speculation true?’ Am I going back home? Am I going back to Saints?

“Everyone seems pretty excited about it and no one more than myself and my family.

"It’s the icing on the cake that it’s where my wife and kids live, and where my parents and sister and all my family are, so that’s nice, but irrelevant of that I think it’s the opportunity in the football club as a whole, the people that are here and the feeling I got with Russell that really attracted me."

“I’m extremely happy to come back to where it all started. Although it sounds like a bit of a fairy tale, in my head, there’s still a job to do and I’m really confident I’ve still got a lot to give to this football club.”

Manager Russell Martin added: “I’m delighted that we could bring Adam back home to where it all began for him.

"Adam has the DNA of this club running through him and brings vital experience as we prepare for the Premier League.

“We’re going to need everyone to play a part again this coming season and Adam helps us create real depth and know-how in midfield.”