Brighton midfielder Adam Lallana has described head coach Roberto De Zerbi as “really special” after signing a new one-year deal with the club.
Former England international Lallana, 34, has agreed a new contract to extend his stay at the Amex Stadium until the summer of 2024.
Lallana, who worked with Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp at previous clubs Southampton and Liverpool, said De Zerbi was “right up there” with his previous managers.
“He is special, really special,” Lallana said. “I’ve been blessed to work with great managers in my career and this guy is right up there.
“He teaches, he inspires, he makes teams and individuals better. He’s the full package. When he said he wanted me to stay longer there was no way I could turn that down.”
Lallana, who has scored four goals in 74 appearances for Brighton in all competitions since joining from Liverpool in 2020, also described Brighton owner Tony Bloom as “a genius”.
“From top to bottom this place is a beacon of good practice and I want to be a part of it,” Lallana added.
“The owner is a genius and his leadership team – like Paul Barber and David Weir – are making decisions all the time in the best interests of the team and club.”
Lallana has been sidelined since January due to a serious hamstring injury and is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery.