Joe Allen is grateful for his time at Liverpool because he learned from the likes of Coutinho and Adam Lallana, two of our best, most creative players.
The Welshman has been superb since his £15m move to Stoke, scoring four goals and providing his new club a real creative outlet in his more advanced position.
His form has led some Liverpool fans to suggest we shouldn’t have sold, or let Allen go too cheaply, but we’re just glad he’s finally, properly fulfilling his potential.
According to 26-year-old, he owes some of his good form to previously playing alongside such excellent footballers.
“It’s natural for any player to do that,” Allen said, when asked if he’s picked anything up from brilliant team-mates (via the Echo).
“With Wales you’ve got the likes of Gaz and Aaron and there is so much you can learn from them, but also the players I was fortunate enough to play with at Liverpool.
“Players like Coutinho and Lallana have played in a similar sort of role to the one I’m playing now – you try to pick up a thing or two from them and that’s what I’ve tried to do.”
Allen doesn’t regret leaving Liverpool and to be fair, we don’t blame him. Yes, he was at one of the biggest clubs in Europe, but he was rarely used. Last season, he played 19 times in the Premier League, but the vast majority of those games were from the bench.
Allen’s in his prime now and we’re delighted by his form. During his Anfield tenure he never once complained or threw his toys out of the pram and fans rightly respect that.
“I enjoyed my time at Liverpool and learned so much but it was time to move on,” he added.
“There is so much quality in a team like that and you have to find a new challenge.
“I was excited about coming to a club like Stoke and staking a claim for a place but I was confident I had a lot to bring to this team and I could be an important player for them.
“I think that makes all the difference to you when you’re maybe given a bit more responsibility and licence to express yourself a bit more.”