Liverpool’s team selection outlook is looking brighter by the day. Glen Johnson, Philippe Coutinho, new signing Aly Cissokho and midfielder Joe Allen are all due back in training this week following spells on the sidelines with injury.
All four returns are significant as they strengthen the Liverpool squad whilst the return of Johnson and Coutinho will strengthen the Liverpool starting lineup straight away.
One area that has been of concern for Liverpool following the injury to Coutinho against Swansea has been the “Number 10” role. Coutinho has virtually made this position his own as he links up play very well between the midfield and strikers. In his absence Victor Moses was slotted into that role and he struggled. Moses is more of a wide attacking player and to ask him to play in the middle and create opportunities for Sturridge and Suarez was not working. But now with Coutinho close to a return, Liverpool will have a proper number 10.
The return to fitness of Joe Allen poses an interesting situation for Brendan Rodgers. With no suitable back up for Coutinho at Number 10, Joe Allen may be the solution.
The Welsh midfielder has told Liverpoolfc.com that he can slot into that role if need be for the side. Allen said, “I can get involved more in the creative side, in assisting goals. That’s a big thing.
“If I have the chance to play further forward, like I did in pre-season, goals are obviously another big one that I’d like to add a bit more to my game.
“It’s something I felt was coming at Swansea, and last season sort of stopped a little bit. That’s something I think I can offer looking forward.
“I pride myself on that fact that I can play a couple of different roles, but that’s a role I have played more naturally and played the most throughout my career.”
I would like to see Allen given an opportunity in the side at number 10. He certainly has the passing abilities to be creative in the role and would be better suited there, in my opinion, than playing as a holding / defensive midfielder like he was asked to do last season when Lucas was injured.
There is no doubt that Allen is a quality player and we must not forget that he is still only 23-years old and still has a lot to learn in the game. Rodgers should let Allen play more advanced in midfield in order to use his best attributes well. Allen is not a defensive midfielder and his body is not suited for that role so he simply must not be played there.