Adam Lallana could return to Reds squad at St Mary's

The 29-year-old hasn’t figured for Liverpool since the defeat at Swansea City on January 22 due to a recurrence of a small muscle tear.

However, the Reds playmaker played 60 minutes during an U23s fixture with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. The return to action was overshadowed by a red card after he reacted angrily after an aerial challenge by George Marsh, jumping to his feet and grabbing the 19-year-old around the neck.

Despite the dismissal, the former Southampton player is still eligible to play senior Premier League matches, meaning Lallana is in contention to be included in the travelling squad for St Mary’s.

Jürgen Klopp said during his pre-match press conference: “He is for sure an option for the squad, but an option for the first XI? I would think not in the moment, but maybe I can sleep twice before we play Southampton so maybe I will change my mind on this. We will see.

“How it always is with Adam, he is in good shape, really quick, he looks fresh and looks good and you think ‘what can we do with him?’ but we did it twice now."

“I don’t think it was too early when we did it, but it happened twice so we need to settle a little and then use Adam," Klopp added. "There are still, I don’t know, hopefully, 18, 19, 20 games to go for us and that’s enough for him", the German boss continued.

Lallana joined Danny Ings, Dominic Solanke and Ben Woodburn in the U23s line-up at Spurs that were beaten 1-0 on a disappointing evening at Stevenage FC.

However, despite three defeats in the Under-23's last five league matches the Reds still remain top of the Premier League 2 table leading Arsenal by a point.

"Adam is not happy about the reaction"

Liverpool's No.20 was shown a straight red card on the hour mark for an altercation with opposing defender Marsh – and Klopp admits both he and the player himself were disappointed by the reaction.

The manager explained: “We wanted him [to play] – not only him, but all the boys [to take part]. Alberto Moreno as well, but he had a little problem so he couldn’t play.

"We wanted [Adam] to have match time and he had 60 minutes, around about."

“[The red card] was not nice, I spoke to him, of course, about that and it’s not how it should be," the German said.

"He’s not happy about it, but meanwhile I understand why it happened – that’s what I thought in the first moment, it was not the challenge before the situation, it was another challenge before that."

Klopp continued: “How I said, Adam is not happy about the reaction – as I was not happy about it – but it does not change my mind about Adam, of course. He is on the way back again, that’s how it is.”

Lallana will be hoping to return to his former ground St Mary's with the Reds as Liverpool are welcomed by Southampton in a 16:30 Premier League clash on Sunday.