'Very special' Adam Lallana deserves World Cup call-up - Mauricio Pochettino
Adam Lallana is one of the best players in England right now and would be a shoo-in for any other country's World Cup squad, according to Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino.
After a quiet first season in the Premier League, the 25-year-old has been one of the top flight's most exciting players this term.
The Saints captain has provided five assists and netted seven goals in the league this season, including the opener in Saturday's emphatic 3-0 win at Fulham.
England manager Roy Hodgson was at Craven Cottage and will have been pleased by what he saw from Lallana, while Pochettino, a former Argentina international, believes he would get into the world's best sides.
"His progress is consistent, his progress is constant," he said of Lallana, who made his 250th appearance for Saints in west London.
"It's his second season in the Premier League so it's only normal that he's becoming even more professional and his progress is always on the up, it's always constant.
"These are players that are always improving and they are showing their talent and progression.
"You can see that he is one of the most talented players in the English game right now.
"He is the type of player that is hard to find in any other English team. It is clear to anyone the talent that he has got.
"I have great respect for Roy Hodgson's decisions, it's not up to me to decide who gets on the plane.
"In my opinion, if Adam Lallana had a Brazilian nationality, a Spanish nationality, if he were another Mata, Oscar, Hazard, or any of these type of players then, for sure, he would be going with their national side. I truly believe that.
"Of course he is a very talented player, a very special player.
"He is a player I really praise, I really like his characteristics as a player and hopefully he can be on that plane to Brazil because I think he fully deserves it, he fully deserves to be there."
Lallana is not the only English player at Saints harbouring World Cup ambitions, with team-mates Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez also boosting their chances of a call-up with goals at Fulham.
Rodriguez's was the more spectacular but Lambert's was far more momentous given it was his 100th league goal for Southampton.
The 31-year-old played an integral role in the club's rise from the League One doldrums and is a man Lallana cannot speak highly enough about.
"He means everything to this football club," the Saints captain said.
"Obviously there was speculation with him during the transfer window, so just to see him still here in the Southampton shirt means the world to not just me but to the club itself.
"He proved today what an unbelievable asset he is for us and without him we probably might not be in the Premier League, without his goals in League One and the Championship.
"He is our talisman. We turn to Rickie and we've all got that respect for him.
"Again, he was outstanding against Fulham and it is a real pleasure playing with him.
"As soon as he gets the ball you just want to make those forward runs because he can find you on a sixpence."