Adam Lallana admitted he loved the opportunity to work with England under-21s during the international break in a player-coach role.
The 35-year-old was involved with the current Euro Under-21 champions ahead of their 3-0 win over Luxembourg on Monday, working closely with head coach Lee Carsley.
“I had a great week with the players and staff,” Adam said. “Lee made it very easy for me to settle in and feel comfortable. It’s a bit different going there as a player and then being more of a mentor, but the transition was pretty seamless because of the environment.
“England won the Euros in the summer – the challenge is to win after winning, which is never easy. The under-21s have got a target on their back because they’re the champions.
Adam Lallana joins England's U21 backroom staff for their training camp 🏴 pic.twitter.com/EmZdghxfEh— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 6, 2023
“It was an amazing insight for me into what may lie in the future, I was delighted with the opportunity and thankful to Brighton and Roberto [De Zerbi] for not just being happy for me to go, but excited that I got the opportunity.
“I was involved in training and took a few little bits, just being that bridge between the coaches and the players. I am still playing in the Premier League so I will still experience the same things as those boys – frustrations, losing and winning as a player.
“When you’re young you want everything now, you can be inpatient, so I can help in those areas, while also getting an opportunity to see the blueprint of being a successful coach.”
The former Southampton and Liverpool midfielder was lined up for the role by our technical director, David Weir.
“David Weir has got a really good relationship with Lee from their time together at Everton. It came about through that, and as soon as he told me I am sure David would have seen my eyes light up. I spoke to a few people, but the head coach was the most important person and I had his blessing straight away.”