Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hailed Adam Lallana in the wake of the attacking midfielder's fine form and believes leaving Southampton and stepping out of his comfort zone was crucial to the England international's development.
The 28-year-old joined Liverpool in 2014 after impressing for the Saints, but he initially struggled to replicate his form at Anfield.
However, he has been excellent for the Reds this season and Klopp is delighted with the steps Lallana has made in 2016-17.
"With his quality, I can imagine everybody at Southampton thought he could be the player for the next 10 to 15 years to build a team around. That is how it is," said the German.
"But actually I am really happy he decided differently and wanted to see something else and wanted another challenge and experience.
"He has made outstanding, big steps from an already high level, that is not always expected, and you cannot be sure he would have done the same at Southampton. Sometimes different circumstances help you with this.
"In the first year here, I am not sure how long exactly because I was not here, I heard nobody was really happy about his performances and especially himself probably, from what I know of him.
"So it is clear he needed this kind of step back to make the next step in the right direction. He left the comfort zone, if you want."
Lallana has netted seven goals in 18 Premier League outings this term.