Darren Bent tips Adam Lallana to return to boyhood club of Southampton
(Photo by Marc Atkins/Mark Leech/Getty Images)

Former Premier League striker Darren Bent has suggested that midfielder  Adam Lallana should look to return to Southampton.

The former England and Tottenham man said that the move would be 'perfect' for the former Saints captain.

When asked about Lallana's next club, Bent told Football Insider: "Southampton, I could see him going back there. I can see him going back to Southampton.

"The one that everyone says whenever you talk about a player dropping down is Everton but that's not going to happen. Southampton would be perfect."

  • The Saints face competition for his signature

With the playmakers Anfield deal up in the summer, teams will be able to sign Lallana for a free transfer at the end of his contract. 

The Telegraph reported that third place Leicester City lead the race for the midfielder, with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, and West Ham also interested in making the move. 

It is thought that Lallana would prefer a move to the Foxes, with his desire to move to Leicestershire headlined by his want to play Champions League football and link up with Brendan Rodgers - the man who signed him for Liverpool. 

Such rumors have been somewhat validated by his former manager's recent comments. 

Rodgers told Sky Sports: "Adam is a fantastic player and one I brought into Liverpool.

"He has done brilliantly [at Liverpool] and I'm sure he will be weighing up his options."

After playing down the rumors, the former Liverpool boss also said: "I would only add he is a top-class player."

  • Southampton unlikely to make the move

During his 14 years at Southampton, Lallana made a total of 265 appearances, scoring 60 goals in the process. 

In that time, he helped Southampton in their back-to-back promotion to the Premier League (earning a spot in the PFA Team of the year in both promotion campaigns), captained them in the top division, and earnt his first England cap (featuring in the 2014 World Cup).

Despite his history with the Saints, with such high profile clubs interested, there is little chance that Lallana will make the move back to the south coast. 

Southampton cannot offer European football, which a host of other teams in the conversation can, and are unlikely to match his current wage.

Sportrac report that the Liverpool midfielder is currently earning £110,000 a week. To compare that to the current Southampton squad, Sportrac also claim that the highest earner for the Saints is Danny Ings, who currently gets paid £75,000 a week - £35,000 less than Lallana. 

Southampton may well be tempted in bringing back their former captain, especially with no expenses needing to be outlaid on a transfer fee. However, at the age of 32, the current Reds player does not only block the path of wingers Stuart Armstrong, Moussa Djenepo, and Sofian Boufal - who are all likely casualties if Lallana resigns.  With his age, the Champions League winner also has very little sell-on value or long-term future  - going against the philosophies of a new signing for the Saints.