Wednesday 21 March 2018

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

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

Will Slattery

What a difference a few months can make.

When Jurgen Klopp took over at Liverpool, it looked like Joe Allen's time at the club was finished. The Welsh international arrived at Anfield along with Brendan Rodgers in 2012, having moved with the manager from Swansea.

Allen had made his name in his home country as a possession midfielder that was comfortable on the ball. Still, Rodgers didn't do his player any favours by calling him 'The Welsh Xavi' after he signed his Liverpool contract.

Judged through that prism, Allen's time at Anfield under Rodgers was a major disappointment as he failed to live up to his billing.

The Welshman didn't boss midfield with sharp passing and his ability to maintain possession didn't even deserve a tongue in cheek comparison to the Barcelona great.

However under Klopp, Allen improved as last season progressed and although he never commanded a regular staring place, he made a number of promising cameos off the bench.

Allen's impressive displays towards the end of the year seemed to win Liverpool fans around - as did his stellar Euro 2016 campaign, after which he was named in the Team of the Tournament while Gareth Bale was snubbed.

These recent events undoubtedly explain the reaction of Reds fans to the news that Liverpool have accepted a £13m bid from Stoke for the midfielder.

With Liverpool having so many options in that area, it makes sense for the player to move and a few months back, the transfer would have been a source of joy for the supporters.

Now though? Fans obviously feel that they are selling Allen at the worst possible time - right as he begins to touch the potential that Rodgers envisioned.

Countless Liverpool fans have expressed their profound sadness at the prospect of Allen moving on straight after shining on the international stage.


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