15 Jul 2016

Deal Close? Klopp confirms Liverpool will hold 'talks' with 'amazing' £14m playmaker

Joe Allen: will he stay, or will he end up on the Liverpool scrapheap this summer? Recent reports suggest that Jurgen Klopp is still determined to sell Allen this summer, and based on the manager's latest comments, a last-minute reprieve doesn't seem likely.

Last week, Sky Sports claimed:

"Liverpool have placed a £14m valuation on Joe Allen following his performances at Euro 2016. Swansea City have already had an £8m bid turned down by the Reds".

When asked last night about Allen's future, Klopp told the BBC:

"Obviously Joe Allen is a good player. We never doubted this. We have to make decisions, we have to find solutions. We have to talk to the player, ask the player and think about our situation. That's how it works."

If he wanted to, Klopp could've confirmed his desire to keep Allen in the squad (if indeed that is his personal desire), but the fact the refrained from doing so suggests (to me) that Allen is expendable. As a comparison: Klopp unambiguously confirmed this week that he wants rid of Mario Balotelli, so it's not as if he's averse to being candid about possible outgoing transfers.

Some will argue that Allen's performances at Euro 2016 prove that he's good enough to be a regular first-teamer for Liverpool, but after three years at the club, he's yet to nail down his his best position, and in my view, that's a consequence of Allen failure to excel (to required extent) in any one position.

Allen is great at short-passing, retaining possession, and pressing the ball, but Liverpool need positional specialists in midfield, and right now, bar Hendo (who is barely a specialist), the club has none. It's a different story for Wales, where Allen has a defined role, with the midfield built around him, but Liverpool don't play in the same way, which means a different type of player is needed.

If Liverpool decide to sell, then the club must surely be able to get more than £14m? Allen had a great Euro 2016, and at the age of 26, he's coming into the prime of his career, and both of these facts are good selling points.

^ Hailed last week by Gareth Bale as 'amazing'.

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