|Date of Birth||
14 March 1990
|Place of Birth||
Joseph Michael "Joe" Allen (born 14 March 1990) is a Welsh international footballer who played as a midfielder for Liverpool from 2012 to 2016.
Since Brendan Rodgers took over at the Liverpool helm, there was continuous speculation linking the highly-rated Allen to Liverpool, whom Rodgers had coached during his time as Swansea manager. In July 2012, Swansea confirmed that they had rejected a bid from Liverpool for Allen. Reports emerged that Allen had a £15,000,000 release clause written into his contract, and that this was the figure Swansea were holding out for.
On 8 August 2012, reports suggested Liverpool had offered the necessary sum to trigger Allen's release clause, and the following day he was spotted at Anfield watching the Reds win 3-0 against FC Gomel in the Europa League. After the match, Rodgers confirmed that a bid from Liverpool had been accepted by Swansea.
On 10 August 2012, Liverpool confirmed that Allen had signed, and would wear jersey number 24 for the 2012-13 season. His debut came on 18 August 2012 in the League game at West Brom. Unfortunately it would be a game to forget as his side crashed to a 3-0 defeat, however Allen was widely praised as Liverpool's stand-out performer.
Two weeks later on 26 August, Allen put in a man of the match performance in a 2-2 draw against Manchester City on his Anfield debut, and again was Liverpool's standout performer in the 2-0 loss to Arsenal on 2 September. Allen's fine start to life on Merseyside saw him voted the Standard Chartered Player of the Month for August 2012 by the Liverpool fans.
Allen's fine early season form was to dip over the winter period, and after starting every League game under Brendan Rodgers, Allen was rested for the 4-0 home win over Fulham on 22 December 2012. Rodgers used Allen more sparingly over the coming games, and the rest appeared to benefit the young Welshman as, on 2 January 2013, Allen came off the bench in the home League game against Sunderland to produce an encouraging attacking display. Allen thought he had netted his first Liverpool goal in the match, however this was ruled out as Stewart Downing was adjudged to have strayed offside in the build-up play.
On 27 January 2013, Allen scored his first Liverpool goal. The goal came in Liverpool's 4th round FA Cup tie away to League One side Oldham. With the Reds trailing 3-1, in the 80th minute, Allen volleyed a shot from the edge of the box that deflected off Oldham forward Jose Baxter and nestled in the bottom corner of the net. The goal was to prove a consolation however as Liverpool suffered a shock exit from the competition.
Allen netted his second Liverpool goal on 21 February 2013 against Zenit St. Petersburg in the Europa League. After meeting a Jose Enrique cross, his initial header was saved but Allen reacted sharply to hook in the rebound. The goal helped Liverpool stage an impressive comeback as they needed to overturn a 3-0 aggregate deficit, however the Reds ultimately crashed out on away goals.
In March 2013, it came to light that Allen had actually been playing for some time with a shoulder problem- a consequence of a shoulder dislocation he had suffered in his teens- and would need surgery to correct the problem. Liverpool finally allowed Allen to leave the squad to undergo the surgery on 21 March, with Allen not due back until after the 2012-13 season.
Allen returned to action for the 2013-14 pre-season, and was largely lauded for his displays. He appeared to adopt a role further forward than normal, and began to reclaim some of the positive support from Liverpool fans that he had enjoyed at the start of his Anfield career. On 27 August 2013, Allen was taken off injured after 65 minutes of a 4-2 win over Notts County.
On 23 November 2013, Allen made his first Premier League start of the season and played 69 minutes in the Merseyside Derby. When the Reds were 2-1 up, Allen missed a big chance from 12 yards which could have put the game out of sight. He retained his place in the starting XI for the coming games however, and his performances against Norwich, West Ham and Tottenham were met with much praise. On 29 December 2013, Allen was taken off injured in Liverpool's 2-1 away defeat to Chelsea with a damaged abductor muscle. He returned on 2 February 2014 as a substitute in Liverpool's 1-1 away draw with West Brom. This marked his 50th appearance for the Reds. Allen began to reclaim his place in the Liverpool starting XI, and was singled out for praise for his role in the Reds' impressive back-to-back 3-0 away wins against Southampton and Manchester United on 1 and 16 March 2014 respectively.
On 5 May 2014, playing his 50th league match for Liverpool, Allen finally netted his first league goal for the club. In the 18th minute of the match away at Crystal Palace, Allen peeled away from his marker at a corner to nod the ball into the net. Despite Liverpool going on to mount a 3-0 lead however, the match finished in huge disappointment with a 3-3 draw, leaving Liverpool's title challenge seemingly in tatters. The Reds indeed did go on to finish as runners-up in the Premier League, but Allen had gone a long way to restoring the early reputation he built for himself amongst Liverpool fans with his consistently-commendable performances.
Allen took up a prominent role in the early phase of the 2014-15 season, and on 31 August 2014, won a penalty away to Tottenham that was converted by Steven Gerrard. Liverpool won the match 3-0. Unfortunately for Allen, his good early season form was interrupted by an injury he picked up whilst on international duty with Wales in early September 2014. His absence was lamented as Liverpool struggled without the Welshman, although Daniel Sturridge was also injured during this time. He returned to action on 19 October 2014, as a second half substitute in Liverpool's 3-2 away win over QPR.
After a length of time out of the team, Allen was recalled to the starting line up in place of the injured Lucas Leiva towards the end of the season. With Liverpool chasing down a top 4 spot, Allen produced a series of highly-acclaimed performances, particularly in the wins over Man City and Swansea on 1 March and 16 March 2015 respectively. Allen revealed new contract talks had opened with Liverpool and expressed his hopes that a new deal could be concluded quickly.
On 13 April 2015, Allen netted his first goal of the season in a 2-0 win against Newcastle. He missed the first header from an Emre Can cross, but the ball rebounded off the defender and the Welshman volleyed home with a good finish.
Allen was ruled out through injury from the first half a dozen games of the 2015-16 season, and only played his first game on 23 September, against Carlisle in the cup. On 17 October 2015, Allen made his 100th appearance for the club, coming on as a late substitute in a 0-0 draw at Tottenham, Jurgen Klopp's first game in charge of the club.
On 2 December 2015, Allen assisted Daniel Sturridge's equaliser with a fantastic curling ball over the top of the defense, to make the score 1-1 in a 6-1 win at Southampton. This was the Welshman's first assist in a Liverpool shirt. He repeated this feat on 5 January 2016, when he beautifully touched a first time pass into the path of Jordon Ibe, who scored the winning goal in a 1-0 win at Stoke. On 13 January, Allen scored his first goal of the season, a final minute equaliser in a 3-3 draw with Arsenal. Allen placed the ball into the net after a sublime head down by Christian Benteke. A week later, Allen netted again, placing a cool finish between two centre backs to open the scoring in a 3-0 FA Cup win over Exeter. On 26 January 2016, Allen netted the final penalty in the shootout to send Liverpool to the 2016 League Cup Final. To cap off a brilliant month for the Welshman, Allen captained the Reds for the first time in a 0-0 draw at home to West Ham.
On 8 May 2016, Allen who had become a fan favourite around Anfield for his good consistent performances under Jurgen Klopp, netted his third goal of the season, tapping in from close range after a Christian Benteke knock-down in a 2-0 win over Watford.
However, after a successful Euro 2016 campaign with Wales, Allen became in high demand, having not made too many starts for Liverpool in the previous season. Allen wanted more first team time, and with the lack of European football in 2016-17, he would not be able to get it.
On 25 July 2016, it was confirmed that Allen had signed for fellow Premier League side Stoke City, for a reported fee of around £13,000,000. Allen made 132 appearances during his four year spell at Anfield, scoring 7 goals.
- Standard Chartered Player of the Month: 1 (August 2012)
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