Adam Lallana could be a valuable midfield option for Albion today.

He is ready and available should the call come at any stage, including for kick-off, versus Manchester United.

But it is testament to the progress of the club that minutes have been harder to come by for the man was a Wow! signing almost two years ago.

Not to mention an indication of the progress made by other midfielders who will have benefited from his presence.

Lallana has been a valued contributor on and off the pitch again this season, his second after returning south from Liverpool.

Along with Pascal Gross, he may well have seen his chances of action against United increase after Enock Mwepu joined Jakub Moder on the injury list.

Lallana’s value was clear to anyone at the recent landmark win at Tottenham.

Firstly as he gave advice and encouragement from the touchline as he warmed up with the subs.

Then with a part in the late Leandro Trossard goal which secured the points.

But he has also seen Mwepu, Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister develop as key midfield figures, making competition hotter than ever.

Yves Bissouma has also been back at his best in several recent matches.

Head coach Graham Potter said: “The bigger story with Adam is he had a couple of injuries recently – the Liverpool game and just missed out on the Norwich game.

“He is making sure he has enough training time to be available for us.

“In that time, the boys in midfield have done really well.

“Adam came on against Arsenal, against Tottenham and helped us get over the line there.

“Massive performances in that regard.

“But the guys have done really well.

“Moises, Alexis, Enock, Pascal, Yves, so there is competition in there.

“When we signed Adam it was about playing and helping the group and I think he has done both, he really has.

“He has been so important to us on the pitch and he has been so important to us off the pitch so we have been delighted with him.”

Potter recognises Lallana is unlikely to be thrilled with a lack of minutes of late.

But he says the player appreciates the situation – and will be ready for the chance when it comes along again.

Potter added: “If you ask all players, they want to play football.

“That’s normal, that’s how it is.

“At the same time, you are talking about somebody who is a fair and intelligent person, who sees how the team has performed and the guys have performed.

“He is able to have a bit of perspective about things.


“At the same time he is a footballer who wants to play football so that is something we have to think about as we go forward.”

Jeremy Sarmiento joins Moder and Mwepu on the list of absentees but Haydon Roberts, who has made the bench at times tis season, should be available.

The defender suffered a whack to the nose during the under-23s’ 0-0 draw at Tottenham on Monday, leading to a lengthy stoppage.

He was unable to complete what was the final match of the 23s’ league campaign.

But he was back in training on Thursday.