Tuesday 27 September 2016

Joe Allen to assess Liverpool future in pre-season

Published 26/05/2016 | 22:41

Joe Allen look set to leave Liverpool
Joe Allen look set to leave Liverpool

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen says his Anfield future rests on the club's pre-season plans and his part in them.

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Allen has one year left on his Liverpool contract and former club Swansea are among those monitoring the 26-year-old's situation on Merseyside.

The Wales international spoke to Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre and manager Jurgen Klopp about his future in January when it was agreed that the matter would be put on the back-burner until after his participation at Euro 2016 this summer.

"There was a conversation with the club in terms of what the future did hold for me, if I would feature more or if I would feature in the plans moving forward," Allen said at Wales' pre-Euros training camp in Portugal.

"They made it clear at that stage I wouldn't be moving anywhere.

"I knew where I stood, and it was good to have that conversation and know that I had the second half of the season to look forward to with Liverpool.

"As soon as the season finished with Liverpool I said to myself, 'I don't want to have any distractions and I am fully focussed and engaged on purely all things Wales'.

"That's where I am at the moment.

"We have had an intense season and I'm sure there will be a week or two after the Euros before any discussions are had."

Liverpool spent £15million on Allen in August 2012 when former Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers returned to his old club for the Welshman's services.

Allen, however, has had a mixed time on Merseyside, making over 130 appearances but regularly targeted for criticism from Liverpool fans until impressing under Klopp in recent months.

He made only one Barclays Premier League appearance before Christmas, but enjoyed more game-time in the second half of the season as Liverpool reached the Capital One Cup and Europa League finals.

Asked if his Liverpool future relied on the prospect of more first-team action, Allen replied: "I think it hinges on the pre-season plans and what exactly the club are hoping to do, everything comes into that.

"The acquisitions and who they are going to get in, and until all that happens then it is difficult to answer that question.

"As a footballer you want to play every minute of every game.

"When you don't it can be disappointing, that's natural for anyone, that's not specific to me.

"It's how you react. You have to make sure you don't let it affect you to a point that when you do get your chances you're not up to it.

"That's been a challenge for me this year, but I've enjoyed that challenge."

Allen certainly appeared to win over some sceptical Liverpool fans towards the end of the season.

He ended up starting 19 games in all competitions and played a key role in Liverpool's incredible Europa League quarter-final comeback victory against Borussia Dortmund.

"What was great about the second half of the season was all the different competitions and how far we went," said Allen.

"There was so much to play for and every player in the squad had a part to play.

"The support (from the fans) has been brilliant in the last few months.

"It's always great for a player, it always helps you when you step out on the pitch. I've enjoyed that and it made things easier.

"People have talked about the improvement in my game this year, but it's almost a back-handed compliment in some ways.

"In the first half of the season I hadn't played.

"But I'm 26, not 36, so I am still developing and improving.

"I'd be very disappointed if I said at the end of any year that I hadn't improved as the season had gone on."

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