Wednesday 7 December 2016

Confirmed: The 'Welsh Xavi' is leaving Liverpool after four seasons at Anfield

Published 25/07/2016 | 20:13

Stoke have made a £13million bid for Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen
Stoke have made a £13million bid for Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen

Liverpool have tonight confirmed the departure of midfielder Joe Allen, who will join Stoke City on a deal reportedly worth £13m.

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The Welshman arrived at Anfield in 2012 with high hopes - Brendan Rodgers christened him the 'Welsh Xavi' moments after he was unveiled as a Liverpool player.

Read more: Liverpool striker Danny Ings reveals details of Jurgen Klopp's gruelling training regime

And for the first few seasons it seemed that the Northern Irish manager - who coached Allen both at Swansea and at Liverpool - was the only man who felt Allen could live up to the moniker.

Although his first three seasons were inconsistent, Allen undoubtedly improved under Jurgen Klopp this season - so much so that some Liverpool fans began to lament his inevitable departure.

Read more: All of a sudden Liverpool fans are distraught that the polarising 'Welsh Xavi' is leaving Anfield

As although Allen performed well enough at Euro 2016 to make the Team of the Tournament, the logjam of midfielders in the Liverpool squad meant that he was always likely to seek regular first team football at the conclusion of the competition.

Stoke will be getting Allen at a good time, with a fee of £13m for the 26-year-old a fair valuation for a player who is finally going some way to justify the lofty nickname bestowed upon him by his former manager.

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