Jan Molby claims Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has become a “key midfield player” for the Reds and a man who can look “a bit like Iniesta” when on top form.
The England international has not always been heralded as an Anfield success story, taking his time to justify a hefty transfer fee.
He has, however, flourished under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp, with his game tailor-made for the German coach.
Lallana prides himself on offering a mix of graft and guile, with hard work complemented by fine technical ability and an eye for goal.
Molby believes it is those traits which allow easy comparisons to be made with an iconic figure on the books of Barcelona who has won just about every major honour for club and country.
He told Liverpool’s official website: "Of all the midfield players we have, Adam Lallana is definitely different. He has, without any shadow of a doubt, turned out to be the key midfield player.
"What Adam Lallana is, and maybe some people won’t see this, is he’s a playmaker. He’s not a playmaker who sits back and dictates play; he’s a bit like Iniesta, he’s that 15 yards further forward where he dictates the direction and the tempo of the play.
"He’s been very impressive, he’s been very, very important – so important that I make him our key player. Lallana is very good at manipulating the ball, creating space for himself.
“There’s nothing like time and space – if you don’t have time and space, it’s very, very difficult to play, but you’ve got to be able to create it. He creates it and never did enough with it, but I think the manager has said, ‘when you do this and when you do that, this is what I want you to do’.
"Now, when Adam Lallana is on the ball and he manipulates himself into a situation where he can do something, you’re almost on the edge of your seat, you think something is going to happen."
Lallana has netted eight times for Liverpool this season and twice for England in 2018 World Cup qualification.
He has also provided seven assists in Premier League fixtures, marking him out as a crucial cog in an Anfield machine taking aim at the English top-flight title.