Despite Joe Allen being highly rated by previous manager Brendan Rodgers and enjoying a great Euro 2016 with Wales, current manager Jurgen Klopp doesn’t rate him as highly.
The reason for this is that Allen was used as a playmaker for Rodgers and also as a backup defensive midfielder. Klopp felt he wasn’t strong enough for defensive midfield and didn’t trust him in a midfield two.
The German therefore preferred to use him whenever he had three in central midfield, but then felt that Allen didn’t offer enough to create and score goals in that position.
This is why he was prepared to pay £25m, plus add ons, for Georginio Wijnaldum. The Newcastle attacking midfielder scored 11 goals last season, and can also play in a midfield two but isn’t so great in that role due to his limited tackling qualities. That means Wijnaldum will be played at the top of a midfield three, offering more than Allen. Or, he could be used an attacking midfielder behind a lone striker.
At Newcastle the Dutchman played in such an attacking role, so it will be interesting where he will slot in.
The Reds accepted a £13m bid from Stoke City for Allen, so all that remains is for him to accept personal terms with the club.
It was believed that Swansea were in for him, but Stoke could be a stronger option, even better than returning to former manager, Rodgers at Celtic.