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10 Mar 2015

Next to Sign? Liverpool open contract talks with 'incredible' £20m 'United fan'

Joe Allen just can't get a break. After failing to establish himself as a first-team regular, he's stuck with being a squad player at Liverpool, and even when he gets a run in the team (as he has over the last six weeks) his momentum is constantly disrupted by niggling injuries. Allen is injured yet again at the moment, but that isn't deterring the Reds from trying to secure his future with the club.

According to the Daily Mail this week:

* Liverpool have 'opened talks' with Joe Allen over a new signing a new deal.

* Brendan Rodgers wants to keep [Allen] for the long-term.

After Coutinho and Sturridge, Allen could be the next LFC star to sign a new deal, and I'm sure his negotiations will be much less protracted than the ongoing Raheem Sterling sideshow.

Although he'll never (IMO) be a regular first-teamer, Allen - hailed by Brendan Rodgers last week for his 'incredible' performance against Manchester City - is an excellent player to have in the squad, and more often than not, he's capable of coming into the team and doing a creditable job.

Is Allen willing to be a benchwarmer, though? At the age of 24, he is approaching the prime of his career, and if he has any ambition, he'll surely want to be a regular starter somewhere. It probably won't be at Liverpool, but Allen is convinced he has what it takes to become a fixture in the first team:

“It's unfortunate for individuals when you get injuries [but] if I can maintain my fitness then I'm confident I have the ability to put in those kind of performances consistently.”

'Maintain my fitness' is the key phrase here, and he clearly can't do that.

* Allen's current injury is his SIXTH since signing for Liverpool.
* Overall: 236 days out injured since 2012 (36 games missed)

Unfortunately for Allen, there's no way he will be able to establish himself as a Liverpool regular if he spends this much time on the sidelines. If he is to leave at some point, though, what are the midfielder's options?

How about Manchester United? It sounds improbable, but in August, Allen was linked with a £20m move to Old Trafford, with reports at the time claiming Man Utd scouts watched him in action during Liverpool's 3-1 pre-season defeat to Manchester City

Transfers between Manchester United and Liverpool are historically rare, but Allen is a self-confessed Man Utd fan, and in 2012 he told reporters:

“I’ve always been a United fan. I looked up to Roy Keane and Scholes was my hero as a kid. I’d like to think United can win the title"

If Allen was a Man United fan in 2012 (and since childhood), I doubt that things have changed over the last couple of years. Yes, he plays for Liverpool, but he probably still has a private allegiance for the Mancs, which may make it easier for him to complete the transfer.

Ultimately, I suspect that most LFC fans will be pretty indifferent if Allen ends up leaving. The midfielder is a bit of a nondescript player at Liverpool; he doesn't invoke much of a passionate response from Reds fans, and if Rodgers can get a good fee for him in this summer, there will be few complaints.



  1. I think it's good news. One of Fergie's greatest strengths was keeping quality players happy to carry out long term squad positions. Solskjær an example of a player who in his prime would probably walk into most teams, but seemed happy to spend his career supporting. Winning trophies makes this easier granted. Jack Wilshire another example who seems to accepted a lesser role. Allen is not stupid, he'd realise the club will go relatively big on a central midfielder this summer, thus probably pushing him till at least 4 choice.

    The fact that he's willing to sign means that he either backs himself to push his way in , or is relatively happy to play back up at a prestigious club.
    Either way good news

  2. Let see if his favorite manhole is willing to fork out $15 mil for him.

  3. He shouldn't leave. If he does, 18-25 million pounds.

  4. Joe Allen to United... I've heard it all now.
    I think he'll stay and hopefully he does as he's a more than competent squad player

  5. Good for him. Allen seems content to fill a role in the squad that requires him to deputise in a number of different positions, as required. Importantly, he has to be versatile and competent enough to be able to do this, and I believe he is. He gets his fair share of stick of course, but what I see is a neat, tidy player who is calm in possession, keeps the ball well and can fit into a variety of systems. Must be tough for him too, being used sparingly, as its difficult for him to build any real momentum before he is back on the bench. I like Allen's attitude, I like Allen, and the squad needs players like him.

  6. how about a swap deal with cleverly?

  7. Man how unlucky Schalke

  8. Real were terrible tonight

  9. The problem for fans is that it's hard to encapsulate his strengths into something that is easy to describe. He doesn't seem to do the things that we all like to focus on like deliver a killer pass, smash the ball into the net, take a great free kick or slide in for a big tackle. The way he wins possession is unglamorous, he often does little more than get a touch on the ball and he rarely leaves his feet. His passing is too short and neat to gain any notice and recycling possession is too boring for most people to really appreciate. His defensive work is plain and at times he does little more than stand in the way of the opposition and force them to re-think their attack. He doesn't win headers, he doesn't really run with the ball very much ... I think in the simplest sense he just bores the hell out of fans and they struggle to see what it is that he actually does.

    But Liverpool need Joe Allen. If we were to sit down and carefully analyse what he does during a game, how he supports other players and how he just seems to fit in around everyone else it would slowly become apparent that he's quite essential. It would take quite a degree of patience and curiosity to do all of this but it's there to be seen if you're willing. Rodgers unquestionably believes in the value of the player because he keeps putting him out on the pitch. When Allen is fit he invariably plays. Injury slows him down but once he gets his place on the field he usually keeps it until he gets injured again. And Liverpool win with Allen on the pitch. Some of the best football this team has played has been with Allen there. For me that's the undeniable supporting evidence. If the team wins with a player in the side then the player must be doing something. There is no place for passengers in a Premier League team and since Liverpool win when Allen is playing he's clearly NOT a passenger.

  10. Bwahahahahahahahaha!

  11. He has terriffic attitude. i expect him to sign new contract and i expect him to fight for first team role. with luck Allen will stay injury free for a whole season, and with even more luck he could be one of those late bloomers? he is good player now, but he could be a superb player when he hits 28 - 30.

  12. what is those line that advertising agents use... you only the benefits of advertising when you dont... That describes Allen to me... but like jaime says if a good offer came in and he left their would be few complaints

  13. Allen is a professional so I don't see the problem! Ronnie Whelan was also a United fan and he became a Liverpool legend.

  14. Correct me if Ii am wrong but wasn't their certain United legend as a manger who used to be a Liverpool captain?