- LocationCarmarthen, Wales
- Squad Number24
Wales midfielder Joe Allen followed Brendan Rodgers in leaving Swansea for Liverpool in the summer of 2012.
His keen eye for a pass and composure on the ball was nurtured by Rodgers during the time the pair spent together at the Liberty Stadium and, as a result, the midfielder possesses a consummate grasp of Rodgers’ possession football philosophy.
Having come through the club’s youth ranks, Allen got his first taste of senior football as a substitute in Swansea’s final game of the 2006-07 campaign against Blackpool.
Former captain and Swansea manager Roberto Martinez then rewarded him with his first professional contract in August 2007.
Swansea secured qualification to the Championship for the start of the 2008-09 season and Allen joined Wrexham on a one-month loan deal. An ankle ligament injury restricted him to just two appearances for the Blue Square Premier outfit but his return to Swansea heralded the beginning of a meteoric rise for the Welshman.
Martinez began to use him more and more, with Allen claiming his first goal in a Swansea shirt with a sensational strike against fierce rivals Cardiff City in April 2009.
Swansea missed out on the play-offs by six points the following month but Allen’s contribution to their valiant promotion push did not go unnoticed and he was bestowed with the honour of the Swans’ Young Player of the Year.
The Welsh club again missed out on promotion the next year under Paulo Sousa but 2010-11 saw Rodgers take over as manager and finally guide Swansea to the top flight. Allen was a key component of their success, making 43 appearances, form which he carried through with ease to the Barclays Premier League.
The midfielder shone throughout a remarkable 2011-12 season which saw him net a career record of four goals and was capped by another Young Player of the Year award.
On the international front, Allen made his debut for Wales in a friendly against Estonia in May 2009. He went on to star for Team GB in the 2012 London Olympics.
It was on the back of an Olympic appearance that he arrived at Liverpool, making his debut on August 18, 2012, and despite the Reds losing their season-opener 3-0 to West Brom, the midfield technician put in an impressive performance.
A week later, after another cultured midfield display versus champions Man City, Rodgers commented that his new boy would soon be worth double the £15million Liverpool paid for his services.
Allen’s first goal in a Liverpool jersey came on January 27, 2013 when he struck a powerful deflected volley against Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup.
An unfortunate series of injuries have prevented the Wales international from stringing a lengthy run of appearances together, but, when fit, the midfielder remains a trusted component of the manager’s system.
Despite injuries meaning that Allen hasn’t always been able to live up to his promise in a Reds shirt, however 2015 has seen him begin to deliver – earning plaudits for his performance in the 2-1 win against champions Manchester City.