Joe Allen arrived at Liverpool from Swansea in the summer of 2012 for a reported fee of £15million, making him the most expensive Welsh player at the time, only for Gareth Bale to shatter that now.
Allen had had a very impressive season for Swansea under Brendan Rodgers and it was no surprise that when Rodgers joined Liverpool he came with his midfield wizard who was dubbed as the Welsh Xavi because of his great passing ability.
Since joining Liverpool, many fans have not been overly impressed by the midfielder. Could it be that he is suffering from big club syndrome like Charlie Adam, whereby you are the star at your club but when you move to a bigger club you buckle?
Last season, Allen played regularly at the start of the campaign but was then sidelined by a shoulder injury and this term he has struggled with a groin problem. But now he is fit and looking to get his chance to play in the Liverpool side and prove his worth.
Allen told Liverpoolfc.com, “I’m working hard and waiting patiently for my chance, but Liverpool is a massive club and we are having a great season.
“The competition for places is really good and you want that at a top club, and I have to work as hard as I can to get back into the fold.
“You want to see your team doing well, especially when you are out injured – the lift you get is from seeing your team doing well.
“Hopefully with the momentum we are gaining now we can keep going and in an ideal world I would like to be a big part of that.”
Currently Gerrard, Lucas and Henderson are occupying the midfield roles that Allen can fill in. All three players will be difficult to displace but I feel Allen should be given his chance to play and prove himself. He is not a bad player at all and just needs to build up his confidence by playing regularly.
Liverpool’s central midfield has received some stick this season and Rodgers may be tempted to bring in Allen for either Gerrard or Lucas and see how he does there. Versus the so called smaller teams, a pairing of Gerrard and Allen in the middle with Henderson may work well as Allen offers much more going forward than Lucas. It would mean that Gerrard would have to be the player to sit back deep in that midfield trio and pick up the pieces defensively.
Where would you play Joe Allen now in the current Liverpool side?