Jurgen Klopp says Adam Lallana is an option for Liverpool’s squad to face Southampton on Sunday despite admitting he spoke to the midfielder over his red card for the Reds’ Under-23 side on Monday.
England midfielder Lallana has not played competitively since Liverpool’s defeat to Swansea City on January 22 due to a slight tear in his thigh.
Lallana stepped up his comeback by playing in the Premier League 2 match against Tottenham, but was dismissed on the hour after reacting angrily to a challenge from Spurs’ U-23 captain George Marsh.
A fuming Lallana jumped on Marsh’s back and wrapped his hands around his throat following an aerial challenge, before being led away and ultimately shown a red card.
Klopp was not happy with Lallana’s reaction, but says that as a former player he can sympathise with in-game frustrations.
“He had 60 minutes, it’s not nice. I spoke to him, it’s not how it should be, he’s not happy about it, but I understand it, there was another challenge before that situation,” he told a news conference ahead of Liverpool’s visit to the St Mary’s Stadium.
“Adam was not happy about the reaction as I wasn’t, but it doesn’t change my mind about Adam of course.
“He’s on the way back again this season, we will not rush it for sure. He’s an option for the squad.”
Klopp insists that Lallana’s indiscretion will not change his mind on asking senior players to play for the U-23s.
“No, it was match practice, to give them time to play. Ingsy [Danny Ings] was there, [Dominic] Solanke was there, he [Lallana] was fine with it,” he added.
“It wasn’t that he was angry playing Under-23s, it’s not the most lucky season for Adam Lallana, there’s a frustration in him.
“There is nothing too good to say about his reaction, but as a former footballer when I see the other challenge I understand a bit, not to excuse it, but we all did things we’re not proud of.”