Adam Lallana could not be happier at Liverpool and has no intention of leaving this summer, with the attacking midfielder confident in his ability to help Jurgen Klopp’s men build on their Champions League triumph.
For all his talent and success since joining the Reds, the only winners’ medal the 31-year-old had to his name was the 2010 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with Southampton.
There have been several near misses since swapping St Mary’s for Anfield five years ago and Lallana finally got his hands on silverware on Saturday as Klopp’s Reds beat Tottenham 2-0 to lift the Champions League.
It was an unforgettable moment at the end of a frustrating season for the England international, leading to some reports that a summer exit from Anfield was on the cards.
Yet Lallana insists that Saturday was not the end of his Liverpool story, merely the start of what he is confident will be a successful new chapter.
“It’s pinch yourself stuff – and more to come,” Lallana told Press Association Sport. “A lot more to come.
“I’ve got a year left on my contract. I’ll be back, I’ll be training through the summer.
“I am as eager as ever to get fit because I know when I’m fit I’ve got a lot to give and I can get in this team.”
Asked if he was staying given the frequent speculation about his future, Lallana said: “Yeah. Absolutely no question about it. I couldn’t be happier here, winning Champions Leagues.
“I know my ability and I know what I can give.
“And the gaffer and his staff and the recruitment guys have all made it clear they know I have a big part to play with what’s to come next, so I’m buzzing with that.
“No question my future is here and I can’t wait for what’s next.”
There is an excitement throughout the Liverpool ranks about what the future holds, epitomised by the fact Klopp and Virgil van Dijk were speaking about their hunger for more before the ticker tape had even been cleared up.
Lallana was an unused substitute at the Wanda Metropolitano, a year on from coming off the bench in the final loss to Real Madrid, and the team spirit that helped bring this year’s success was clear.
“We’ve hurt a lot this year,” he said. “Every player will have their own story.
“I’ve obviously not played, but this means more to me than anything.
“I’ve had a lot of setbacks this season. I’ve worked so hard to get there and then I’ll obviously have another setback.
“(Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain, unfortunately, he missed out last year and he’s fought back, and he was involved tonight, so it will mean so much to him for different reasons.
“It means so much to my best mate (Jordan Henderson) for different reasons.
“I am just so happy to be out there amongst it with the team and feel that cohesion. That’s what’s brought us here.”
Henderson was like so often, the heartbeat of the team on Saturday evening and Lallana could not be prouder to see his friend lift the Champions League aloft, especially given the doubters that have been a backdrop throughout the midfielder’s career.
“Listen, I don’t know why there are questions there,” Lallana said. “It seems like always.
“He’ll keep proving people wrong the rest of his career. It’s what he does for a living.
“As footballers, we always do that because other people will always write stuff about us.
“But, listen, he’s just lifted the sixth Champions League for the club and he’s one of our best players this season.
“I drive in with him most days. I see how selfless he is towards the group, how he puts other people first, never himself. No one sees that apart from our players inside.
“Everyone has the utmost respect for him so I couldn’t be happier for him, really.”
The Liverpool attacking midfielder is also as well placed as any to speak about the job done by Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.
The Argentinian has done superbly during his five-year stint at Spurs, continuing the impressive work that helped Lallana reach new heights during their time together at Southampton.
“I have the utmost respect for Mauricio and his coaching staff,” Lallana added.
“I just know that they’ll bounce back and what they’ve achieved this year is phenomenal and the job they’ve done and continue to do at Tottenham is faultless.
“He deserves to be held up there amongst the highest and regarded as one of the best.”