3 Reasons Why Joe Allen Has Been Liverpool's Most Uninspiring Player This Season
Joe Allen has had somewhat of a stop-start season in terms of form and now looks set to miss out on Liverpool's remaining eight fixtures after undergoing surgery on a troublesome left shoulder injury.
The ex-Swansea City man was originally brought to the club by Brendan Rodgers to solidify the midfield and provide a cutting edge in the attacking third of the pitch.
Allen has struggled to fulfill expectations, and thus far he has done little to endear himself to the Anfield faithful.
As time progresses and fresh talent (such as Philippe Coutinho) continue to emerge, the likelihood of his resurgence within the squad begins to dwindle
With that in mind, here are three reasons why the Welshman has been Liverpool's most disappointing player of the 2012-13 campaign.
Lack of Goals
The video to the left pictures one of Allen's two goals for Liverpool this season, the other coming in a fourth-round FA Cup tie against Oldham Athletic.
Goals are a rare commodity, but it's come to a point where the word "rare" doesn't do near enough to describe Allen finding the back of the net.
An effective central midfielder (especially at a club like Liverpool) should be racking up about 10-15 goals a season.
It would be shallow and ignorant of me, however, to judge a player solely based on their goal return, which brings me nicely to my next point.
None. Zero. Nada.
However you want to say it, the 23-year-old has not recorded a single assist for Liverpool in 29 appearances this season.
To be fair, it is his first year on Merseyside, but two goals and zero assists is a pretty abysmal statistic for a man who is supposed to be pulling the strings in midfield.
Whether it be a lack of quality or an absence of confidence, Allen must get his act together soon if he wants to live up to his £15 million price tag.
On March 18, Allen was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a niggling shoulder injury.
His absence will leave Liverpool's midfield bare-boned as it begins to prepare for the final stretch of the campaign.
Reportedly, the No. 24 has been secretly playing through pain since mid-October (via the Mirror) in an attempt to hinder opposition players from making him a target.
Allen is expected to make a full recovery by the time preseason rolls around in July and will hope to make a more significant impact in the 2013-14 edition of the Premier League.