Joe Allen: Will He Be a Success or a Failure at Liverpool?
Brendan Rodgers made his second signing of the summer last week, snatching up former Swansea midfielder Joe Allen for £15 million (via ESPNSoccernet). The young Welsh midfielder has been brought in to inject some youth and vision into the Liverpool midfield.
Since Allen hasn't seen any game time with his teammates—and barely had time to train with them—as fans, we haven't been able to gauge what sort of impact he will have on the squad.
Some fans believe that £15 million was much too high of a fee to be paid for such an untested player and that Swansea jacked up the price. This could prove to be true. Just ask Andy Carroll, the infamous £35 million man.
Many accused Kenny Dalglish of signing Carroll in what can be described as little more than an impulse buy—Carroll had a couple good games in the first half of the season in 2010-2011 and this somehow warranted an inflated transfer fee.
We all saw what the effect of having such a large price tag on his head did to his season.
Same thing with Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson. They were signed for around £20 million each when many believed that they were worth way less.
Look at the seasons they had last year. Granted, Henderson can be excused a little bit because of his youth and relative inexperience, but Downing is an established Premier League player and should not have been fazed by his price tag.
Also, Rodgers could be making a mistake a la Charlie Adam by signing someone who had a good, not great, first season in the Premier League.
Charlie Adam was brought to Liverpool for around £8 million from Blackpool in the last summer transfer window, along with the tag from Sir Alex Ferguson saying that "his free kicks alone are worth £10 million."
And while Adam led the Reds in assists last season, the now-26-year-old has come under scrutiny for losing the ball too easily and his penchant for just booting the ball upfield and hoping Andy Carroll will latch on to it.
Joe Allen will have to overcome his price tag, his Premier League inexperience and the added pressure of being brought in to start for one of the most storied football franchises in the world if he wants to be a hero of the Kop.
And he very well could. According to Rodgers (via The Guardian):
He's incredible on the ball, his intelligence for a 22-year-old is frightening, his game understanding is very, very good and he's in love with the football. He loves the ball. I think he'll fit in really well with all the other clever players we already have here. I'm excited about the prospect of Allen fitting in with our front four, because I think even at this early stage, their combination has been excellent.
Allen was also one of the best passers in the league last season, completing more than 91 percent of his passes, which was good for fourth in the Premier League.
Liverpool need this vision in midfield. Adam, especially in the absences of Gerrard and Lucas last season, doesn't have the passing ability to carry a midfield on his own. A midfield of Gerrard, Lucas and Allen is a visionary, composed unit that will help retain and contribute the ball.
As the season approaches, it remains to be seen if Liverpool will improve upon last season and if Allen, along with fellow new signing Fabio Borini, will become Anfield hits or more failed signings.
What do you think? Will Joe Allen be a success or a failure? The comments section is below. Discuss!
Cheers and YNWA!
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