In just a year at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp has made many friends at the Merseyside and more enemies (rivals, to say the least) around the country. His methods were questioned last season but the start to the season from his side have erased any doubts on his ability to stick it out in the most competitive league in Europe. One of the first things that the manager did in the off-season was to sell players who had no place in the squad. The likes of Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure, Jordan Ibe, Joao Carlos Teixeira, Mario Balotelli and Christian Benteke were some of the 14 players that left the club on a permanent basis. Most of those will be termed as a good business from the German, but one player that is now making the Liverpool fans sulk a bit is Welsh international Joe Allen.
Having found it hard to break into the first team under Klopp last season, Allen started to show his prowess late in the season when he was needed to cover for the first team players in various competitions. He started to show some form in the midfield and was also influential in the famous 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League last season coming on as a substitute and he took that form to the EUROs helping his side to a place in the semi-final. However, that was not enough for Klopp who had no place in the first team for Allen, who was then put up for sale in the summer and was snatched up by Mark Hughes.
It was an interesting decision from Klopp to let the 26-year old leave the club as it was looking that he was picking up some red-hot form going into the new campaign. Allen started the new season in a midfield role for Stoke but was not able to have an instant impact on the side. However, having taken his time to settled, he is now blossoming into one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and is helping Stoke climb the table swiftly.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) October 31, 2016
In the last 5 appearances for the Potters in all competitions, Allen was directly involved in 6 goals, scoring 4 and assisting 2 as he almost single-handedly took his side out of the relegation zone and has now put them in the 12th place after 10 games. He was the Man of the Match in the 3-1 victory over Swansea assisting 2 goals and picking up a rating of 8.61. He was all over the Swans on the night as he dominated the midfield and broke through their defense with relative ease. The 4 successful tackles, 3 key passes, and 2 interceptions show that the 26-year old has grown in confidence and might go on to become a huge player for Stoke in years to come.
However, it would be hard to say that Liverpool should not have sold him in the summer. Having spent on Georginio Wijnaldum in the offseason, Klopp was not really looking at the Welsh international as a part of his midfield. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana have been impeccable while Wijnaldum and Emre Can have shown what they can add to the squad. The likes of Lucas Leiva and Kevin Stewart provide the side with defensive reinforcements in the midfield while Grujic is an understudy. This leaves no chance of a regular football for Joe Allen who, at his age, will want to play every game. And without European football, it would have been even more frustrating for the player to stay at the club.
It will surely hurt the Liverpool fans that Klopp let the 26-year old go right when he was finding some form, and even more when they see him win games for Stoke City but Allen will not be missed very much if they are able to keep up their 11-game unbeaten streak in all competitions for a bit longer.
Do you think Liverpool should have kept hold of Joe Allen?