Alex Rogers reviews the season that Joe Allen has had and how it will impact the future of the Welshman at Anfield.
Joe Allen is an enigma. I can’t quite place my finger on him, that’s for sure. He has found himself to be an unlikely cult hero after his impressive season under Klopp, who may have rekindled the Welshman’s Liverpool career.
When former manager Brendan Rodgers was fired after only winning 3 games in 11 at the start of the season, Joe Allen’s future was thrown into uncertainty. It was no secret that Rodgers was a big fan of Allen, who he bought from his former club Swansea.
The appointment of Klopp only shrouded Allen’s future more as the German manager had a reputation for ruthlessly getting rid of players he did not have a need for. This can be evidenced by his first season in charge at Dortmund where he got rid of 17 players.
When Allen joined us in 2012 for a fee of £15 million after being a key player in Swansea’s promotion to the Premier League, he seemed like a quality signing. He even earned himself the Liverpool player of the month award in his first month at Liverpool.
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But since his early days at Liverpool, he hasn’t shown many reasons to think that he is a player Liverpool capable of the necessary quality. For many seasons he has been okay at best. But the charismatic German, Jürgen Klopp, may have been the best thing to happen to Joe at Liverpool.
This season started off slow for the Welshman after the appointment of Klopp, as he seemed like he was struggling to adapt to Klopp’s style of play. Yet as the year progressed he showed that this may not be the case.
This season, only Alex Song has made more tackles per minute than Joe Allen, with Song making a tackle every 15.7 minutes compared to Joe Allen’s 16 minutes per tackle. Not only is Joe making tackles but he has also scored 2 league goals this season, one of them being the last minute equaliser against Arsenal. This may not seem like much but his only other previous league goal was in the 2013-14 season against Crystal Palace where we drew 3-3. That’s a 200% increase in his goal tally! Lionel Messi watch out.
Joe Allen has made his name this season as an impact sub, having played 38 times this season in all competitions and coming on as a substitute for 18 of those appearances. Both of his league goals came from off the bench. Joe has turned games around from off the bench many times this season, adding something new to the game. Most notably he’s done this against Manchester United, Arsenal and Dortmund.
Allen’s good form this season has not gone unnoticed by the fans either, with Joe becoming somewhat of a fan favourite at Anfield. I do admit that it may be slightly ironic that he’s now become a fan favourite with names like “Welsh Xavi”, “The Ginger Pirlo” and, my favourite, “Jesus” being used to describe the Welsh midfielder.
This season many fans would say that Joe has definitely justified himself and deserves to stay at Anfield. But it seems that just as many say that it is time to say goodbye to our Welsh maestro. Despite Joe’s hard work and commitment to Liverpool on the pitch his future is still anyone’s guess.
With Brendan Rodgers finding himself a new Job at Scottish juggernauts Celtic, rumours have been linking Joe with a reunion with Brendan in Glasgow.
“I think it hinges on the pre-season plans and what exactly the club are hoping to do, everything comes into that” Allen told BBC Sport Wales in January regarding his future.
“As a footballer you want to play every minute of every game. That’s been the challenge for me”
This season Joe has shown some real quality on the pitch which could possibly warrant him a new contract. Personally, I’d be very happy if Joe was given a new contract. He would be a great squad player to have. But the decision ultimately lies with Klopp. What he chooses to do, be that let Joe stay with Liverpool or to sell him, I’ll fully support his decision. But it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be sad to see Joe leave.
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