Where next for Liverpool's Joe Allen?

Where next for Liverpool's Joe Allen?

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There have been talks concerning the future of Joe Allen at Liverpool ever since the departure of previous manager Brendan Rodgers. Allen is a player that the Anfield faithful have never quite taken to their hearts and he has been subject of critics from supporters of the club and the media and supporters of the English game. ‘The Welsh Xavi’ and ‘The Italian Pirlo’ are a few of the taunts that are directed towards Allen and in my opinion unfairly so. He is a player that needs to be watched to appreciate just quite how effective he is on a football pitch, his ability to retain possession for the team, add in his tenacious attitude and Allen is a player that deserves to be playing regular football and has deserved to at Liverpool.

The talk this summer is that Liverpool will be open to listen to offers for the Welshman, but now after his performances thus far at the European Championships his valuation has risen from what was reported between 8-10 million to a still has to be considered generous 14-18 million. In the modern game it is hard to find centre midfielders with the discipline to hold onto possession and really do a job for a team instead of looking for the limelight. For Wales despite the star names of Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale, Allen is the player who has been the stand out for such a great tournament and perhaps an extremely memorable tournament if they can overcome Portugal in the semi-finals. At the age now of 26 Allen must play regular first team football, in terms of what is ahead of him at Liverpool, to not be disrespectful there isn’t a great deal, so if Allen cannot force his way ahead of them then he needs to move on. Emre Can, James Milner and Jordan Henderson are the three men ahead of him at the club; this is not exactly what you would consider formidable. So far with Jurgen Klopp already added young midfielder Marko Grujic to their ranks and his links to sign Piotr Zielinski and Mahmoud Dahoud, then this is an indication that he does not consider Allen a ‘Jurgen Klopp’ player?   During his four years at Anfield, Allen has only managed 129 appearances in all competitions for the club, and a lot of these have been substitute appearances, it is imperative that the Welsh midfielder makes that move on and enhances his reputation further.

There certainly will not be a shortage of takers for the former Swansea man; there have been a number of clubs already linked with the player, and even more so after his campaign with the Welsh National team, including some somewhat surprising names. When Celtic appointed Brendan Rodgers as the new manager of the club, straight away the name of Joe Allen was linked with a move north of the border. This would look a highly unlikely move especially now with the interest likely to increase for the midfield man. Rodgers is a massive fan of the player from there time at Swansea together but the valuation of Allen would have to be considered too much for the Scottish Champions.

In the summer of 2015 Swansea were linked with taking Allen back to Wales; however this didn’t transpire with Rodgers still in charge at Anfield at this time, so will they go back in for his signature? They have been linked with a move, and a bid lined up again for the player, and with the new investment all complete for the club they are likely to start their transfer process. Leroy Fer is set to complete a move to the Liberty Stadium, could Joe Allen be the next player on their list?

West Ham is another club who has been linked with the signature of Allen, despite already having a number of options to play in the centre of their park, Allen would add an element of control to the team and provides the option to play with a three man midfield. Slaven Bilic has praised the performances of Allen for Wales this summer from the studio so could he look to make a move? A move to a top half Premier League club would certainly be a realistic move at this stage, with the likes of Southampton, Stoke and quite possibly that move across the divide to rivals Everton might certainly be an option. All three clubs need to strengthen the centre of their midfield position and Allen would certainly do that. His playing style looks the ideal fit for Koeman and what he will be looking to achieve at Goodison Park, Southampton need to replace Victor Wanyama and Stoke have been a centre midfielder short now for the last two seasons. The other possibility that Allen could have would be a move to a European club, Sevilla have been linked to adding the Welshman and especially now with the departure Grzegorz Krychowiak to PSG, adding Allen might look an attractive prospect, Monaco is the other club who has been linked though whether they increase their interest remains to be seen. Joe Allen is certainly a player who could play in a European League, his style of play would certainly fit right into the systems and especially in Spain so Sevilla might just become a serious possibility if the interest is intensified.

Alternatively Jurgen Klopp might just consider keeping Allen with him at Anfield this summer. Out of centre midfield options Allen was the only one who has made any impact on the European stage this summer with Henderson and Milner barely making an appearance for England and Emre Can sitting the whole time on the Germany bench, he could give the player another crack at making it at Anfield. With Liverpool finding it tough to conclude deals for Zielinski and Dahoud, Allen could almost be like a new signing himself if he comes back next season in anyway the kind of form he has found at the back end of the season and this summer with Wales. Ideally this will not be the case as the player needs regular first team football and making that move elsewhere will really give him a platform to express himself, the interest is likely to intensify in the player when Wales return from France this summer, so the future of Joe Allen will almost certainly be decided this month.