With the news that club captain Kelvin Davis has been granted a testimonial at the end of the season to celebrate his ten years at Southampton, a certain issue has raised its head.
As the current Saints squad go up against a select 'Promotion XI', the thought of Adam Lallana returning to St Mary's has certainly split the fanbase. A Southampton legend in his own right whilst at the club, the fans' high opinion of the playmaker, ironically for someone renowned for Cruyff turns, went the other way very quickly.
For the spotlight to be on Lallana rather than Davis on a day about him, after a blotted copybook including enthusiastically signed Liverpool shirts whilst still a Southampton player, reportedly readying to go on strike to force a move through and saying he was 'dreaming of playing for Liverpool' whilst playing against them, receiving a hero's welcome is highly unlikely.
But with it being "Super Kelv's" choice on who he wants to play in his own celebratory game, we asked our writers should Lallana play, and if so, what should his reception be like?
Jake Hughes (@JJHughes_): YES
I'd like to see him there. I don't like the guy, but there's no doubting his importance in our rise back to the Premier League. I think he should do it - he'll obviously get booed and deservedly so.
But, the friendly/pantomime atmosphere could really help heal some wounds caused by his exit between himself and Saints fans.
Connor Armstrong (@ConnorArmstrong): YES
It's a tough question to answer. However, in the spirit of the idea of it being Kelvin's testimonial, if he chooses to invite him then the hostility shouldn't boil over on this occasion.
Those who want to boo him can do so whenever we face Liverpool, but it wouldn't be suitable for what looks like being a great reunion of old faces and a celebration of Kelvin's career.
Lallana in his time as Southampton captain
Tommy Scott (@TScottt1028): YES
This is tougher for me. I joined on as a supporter at the beginning of last season as Lallana and company were leaving, so I don't know what all he means to other fans. I do know how it feels to lose a longtime player to another team on terms such as Lallana and it's awful, and you want to hate that player forever. Will he? I would imagine that if Kelvin wants him to come play and he feels safe enough, he will.
Now, the next part can be answered in two parts: What reception will he receive? Probably a bit half and half, I'd guess. I've seen many fans support the idea of clapping him on during an exhibition game like that, if just doing it per Kelvin's wishes. But, I've also seen fans that are unforgiving and will not have any part of clapping, and have said they don't want him near St. Mary's.
What reception should he receive? You don't have to clap, but he shouldn't be booed. Kelvin Davis is a club legend and a hero, and if he wants Adam to be at the game, you should support Kelvin by supporting Adam. You don't have to like it, but the game isn't about you.
Dan Noutch (@DanNoutch): YES
I hope he does play. Obviously, the way he left wasn't how anyone wanted it to go but the purpose of the testimonial is to celebrate the professionalism, leadership and commitment that Kelvin Davis has shown at St. Mary's over the past 10 years. If Kelvin wants Adam Lallana there then everyone should respect that decision.
How many other times are going to get to see the old band back together? It's going to be great to see the group of players that played such an integral role in getting us into the position that we are in now play at St. Mary's together again and Adam was one of the biggest stars in the back-to-back promotion campaigns. In terms of his reception, I hope he doesn't get booed, and I hope Saints fans don't go as low as that considering the occasion. This is Kelvin's day, not anybody else's.
Daniel Vaughan (@vaughan_of_89): YES
I would just like him to say something along the lines of 'sorry for behaving like a tit' and move on. I don't like the situation but his behavior was disgusting and hurtful at a time when he was supposed to be setting the example.
Say sorry, move on.