In recent years, Liverpool’s transfers have brought embarrassment to Merseyside. Average players being bought for inflated prices has not gone down well with everyone connected to the club. As a result, Damien Comolli was sacked, the man who dealt with the occurrences in the transfer market. Since Brendan Rodgers took the reigns of the sinking ship, his intent is to bring attractive football and success to what was once was a big club. The intent of Rodgers can be seen in one of his transfer targets – Joe Allen. Someone he knows well due to his time as Swansea manager.
Rodgers’ intent to sign someone like Allen is a smart one. Liverpool have drastically missed someone who can dictate the tempo of the game from a deep position since Xabi Alonso departed for Real Madrid. Previous Liverpool managers have been unsuccessful in trying to fill Alonso’s shoes. Benitez brought in an injury-prone Italian midfielder, Alberto Aquilani. However the attempts to play him deep proved unsuccessful as he proved he could play better in an attacking position. Hodgson drafted in Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen, however he proved to be a poor signing. Dalglish used several players to try and pull the strings; Charlie Adam, Jay Spearing and other players were used, however they all proved they couldn’t live up to the standard of the Spaniard.
The question is, if Allen signs for Liverpool, can he make a success of himself? Let us not forget, he is only young. His debut season in the Premier League was terrific. He proved that he could dictate the game from his position. He was the puppeteer, the distributor, the heart of Rodgers’ Swansea. He looked completely comfortable on the ball which is brilliant for someone of his age playing in a top league. His range of passing was exquisite, he could easily find that bit of space to thread the ball through. He was the prime example of Swansea’s style of play. He could pass it on, and move quickly on in order to complete the triangles that occurred all over the pitch. He has also performed brilliantly for Great Britain in the Olympics, proving how he can change his role to suit any side. A real stand-out player amongst the Olympic footballing nations.
Statistically, Allen is up there with the best of his kind. Over the whole of last season, Allen had a 91% pass completion rate. Comparing that to other players, Yaya Toure (90%), Luka Modric (87%) and Michael Carrick (90%), also comparing it to Liverpool’s best midfielder last season Lucas Leiva, who only achieved a 86% pass completion rate, it shows that if Rodgers decides to sign another of his old players, Allen could make a success of himself up at Anfield.
However, big amounts of money are already being floated about in the press concerning how much Liverpool will need to pay for Allen. Not only does it seem a bit expensive for someone who has only had one full season in the Premier League, it brings back memories of Dalglish’s horrible transfer dealings. Henderson, who only had 2 seasons of top-flight football at Sunderland, was brought in for a ridiculous amount of £20million. Just look how much of a success he’s been at Liverpool. 20 million quid down the drain it seems. The same with Carroll, the up and coming Geordie centre-forward who was being compared to Shearer and Drogba, being bought for a more expensive price than Manchester United paid for Wayne Rooney. 11 goals in 56 games seems to me like he really isn’t worth £15million let alone £35million.
So will Allen be next on the list of Liverpool’s recent unsuccessful dealings? The young Welsh prospect becoming just another Kop flop? Statistics alongside his consistent performances last season as well as his performances for Great Britain suggest not. However, if Liverpool do manage to sign Allen, it does seem to me like it’s done with legitimate reasoning. Not just “Oh look a bright young player, let’s snap him up,” more so a replacement for someone Liverpool have sorely missed. Joe Allen looks set to become a success up at Liverpool, if a transfer fee can be agreed.