Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Stoke City Midfielder Slapped With Heavy Price Tag By His Parent Club: Where Does His Future Lie?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Stoke City reportedly values their star midfielder, Joe Allen at £25m in accordance to a clause included in the Welshman’s contract. It has been said that all top-six Premier League teams other than the likes of Liverpool can purchase the 28-year-old by paying the said amount in the coming summer.

A highly unusual provision to be included in a player’s contract but understandably so. Allen is definitely capable of playing for the Premier League big guns, having appeared in 130 games for Liverpool during his 4-year stint at Anfield.

However, the real question lies in whether any of the top tier sides will be willing to pay that much for a player who has not exactly stood out during his time with the Reds?

Allen was a highly prized asset by Brendan Rodgers in the Swansea City ranks and the latter wasted no time in getting the player to Liverpool when he got appointed as head coach. The central midfielder was his first signing but eventually failed to replicate his form as was seen earlier at the Liberty Stadium.

He fell into the rotation behind younger and more athletic players and was eventually sold to Stoke City for £13m in the summer of 2016. It was with the Potters where Allen resumed his impressive creative form by scoring 6 goals in his debut season and helping the side to a 13th place finish. He was even named in the 40-man shortlist for the UEFA Team Of The Season, cementing his starting berth under the then-manager, Mark Hughes.

Standing at just 5 feet 6 inches tall, Allen is not necessarily the most shifty or the strongest. What he does to make up for it is use his footballing intelligence and sublime close control. The 28-year-old is primed with top-flight experience and knows how to initiate the team’s offence.

He has been capped 42 times for the Wales national team and still has loads of Premier League football left in him.

However, it might not be an exaggeration to say that none of the top-six clubs will be willing to pay that high a price for a player of his stature. All the major title-contenders are on the lookout for younger and faster athletes with ideally some resale value.

On the top of that, Allen is not exactly the best playmaker or a holding midfielder in the league, as far as top-six standards go. He will always be a solid team player and a wonderful sporadic option in any of the elite teams. A starting spot is not exactly the moon to him either but Stoke might just have overshot their asking price.

Read More: Swansea City Hopeful Of Reuniting With Former Wonderboy: What Can He Add To Carvalhal’s Squad?

This would leave some of the rising clubs like Wolves and Cardiff City to pick him up for a lower price and benefit ten-folds from the investment.

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