What a difference a few months can make, especially if you are Joe Allen. With news of his departure to either Stoke or Swansea in the next few days, it is left some Liverpool fans distraught.
When Jürgen Klopp took over at Liverpool last season, it looked like Joe Allen’s time at Liverpool was all but over. Allen was one of ex manager Brendan Rodgers first signing when arrived at Anfield in 2012, having moved with the manager from Swansea. Allen had made his name as a possession midfielder while playing forSwansea who was comfortable on the ball, both going forward and defending. Such was his delight at signing Allen, Rodgers quipped that Allen was ‘The Welsh Xavi’ after he signed his Liverpool contract.
This was to be the start of Allens misfortunes at Liverpool. Having recieved such high praise from Rodgers, Liverpool fans were expecting a Steven Gerrardesque player but Allen failed to live up to the hype Rodgers created around him. There was no bossing of midfield form Allen. There was little sign of the sharp passing and he could not even hold on to possession that well. Allen was more Bruno Cheyrou then Xavi and so he was deemed surplus to requirements by fans and was written off as an over hyped waste of money.
Then came the day Thierry Henry touched up Jamie Carragher live on TV. Liverpool announced the sacking of Rodgers and he was replaced by Jürgen Klopp. This was the spark to ignite Allens career. Although he was not a regular starter for Klopp, he seemed to be his go to guy, when Klopp needed a plan B.
Allen’s performances towards the end of last season won around a lot of Liverpool fans and he went from being the Welsh Xavi to being the Welsh Pirlo and in the minds of some players Allen was unstoppable. Then he went to France and his performance level went up a gear. Allen was named in the Team of the Tournament after helping Wales to the semi finals of the competition while his more famous team mate Gareth Bale was snubbed by UEFA.
Since the European Championships finished social media has been awash with fans calling for Allen to be a regular starter over some of the other Liverpool midfield players. With a year left on his contract, fans were expecting to maybe seeing him get a new contract. Rumours soon started to circulate that Liverpool would be open to maybe selling Allen and it was announced that Liverpool have accepted a £13m bid from Stoke for the midfielder, this news caused a massive meltdown on Twitter.
Liverpool are currently awash with central midfield players at the minute so for me selling Allen makes sense especially if the club can get over £10 million for him. What does not make sense is keeping James Milner over Allen. For me Allen is a more versatile midfielder and deserves his place on the Liverpool team. Now though? Fans feel that Liverpool are maybe selling Allen at the worst possible time, right as Allen begins to show the potential that Brendan Rodgers envisioned he had when he brought him to Liverpool in 2012.
Social media as I said is awash with Liverpool fans expressing their profound sadness at the prospect of Joe Allen moving on from the club especially after shining on the international stage so much this summer. I disagree with Liverpool moving him on – I never thought of say such a thing, but his performances for Wales in the summer were a joy to watch and as a Liverpool fan I was hopeful that Allen could be the DM that Liverpool have missed over the last number of years. While it may not be his natural position it is a position I feel he could excel in especially with Emre Can and Marko Grujic playing along side him. So Herr Klopp maybe think twice and focus on shifting on James Milner rather then wee Joe.