Celtic’s summer plans seem to be right on schedule as the club continues to get linked with some of Europe’s highly promising talents. They are just inches away from registering a consecutive treble-winning season and Brendan Rodgers will be thrilled to get his hands on at least one target before the Scottish Cup final against Motherwell.
In the midst of all the glee and celebrations, there might just be a few opportunities which might have escaped the eyes and ears of the Hoops fans. Take Stoke City’s Joe Allen for example.
The Potters have just been relegated to the Championship and the Welsh midfielder is primed for a cheap pickup this offseason.
Allen was once Rodgers’ pride and parcel in the Swansea City ranks, as evident from the hast in which he signed the player right upon his appointment as the Liverpool head coach. The central midfielder was his first signing as the Reds manager and Rodgers’ continued to favour the 28-year-old despite his shortcomings to meet the Anfield standards.
It was unfortunate to see Allen fade out among the Liverpool ranks but even in the face of adversity, he came out to prove his worth to the team. The Carmarthen-born player had racked up over 130 appearances for the club and might have been one of their best rotational players.
He certainly did make a comeback to the Premier League spotlight during his time with Stoke. He hit the ground running, right on his arrival to power City to a 13th place finish in the English top-flight. He went on a scoring run of 6 goals in his debut season and was even named in the 40-man shortlist for the UEFA Team Of The Season.
Celtic are about to be hit with a massive summer shock as clubs have begun circling around their starting attacking midfielder, Tom Rogic. Allen will be more than capable of filling the role when the Australian leaves for any of the interested sides.
Standing at just 5 feet 6 inches tall, Allen is not necessarily the quickest or the strongest athlete in his position. Whatever shortcomings he might have stature wise, he more than makes up for it with his incredible footballing intelligence and technical abilities.
The 42-time Wales international can twist and turn his way out of tight spots and has a keen eye for the inch-perfect pass. He is no slouch on the defensive end either as we have seen him on countless occasions pulling his weight at the back.
Rodgers has built a formidable team of players under his regime at Parkhead and is trying tooth and nail to maintain the dominance of the Hoops in Scottish football. The inclusion of a player like Joe Allen will definitely be a firm step in that direction for the Englishman.