Liverpool are having tough times in terms of squad selection with injuries and suspensions to key players. Amidst the big celebration against Dortmund in the classic second leg thriller, the Reds suffered two major blows with injuries to Henderson and Can. Their skipper suffered a knee ligament injury at the half time and was replaced by the Welsh Xavi – Joe Allen.
A transformed Allen
Joe Allen joined Liverpool in 2012 under Brendan Rogers and was expected to make it big at Anfield. However, under the reign of Rodgers, Allen was never looked settled at the club and was not favored by the manager with competition from the Anfield legend Steven Gerrard. After the departure of Gerrard, Henderson took over the responsibility of central midfield and was expected to carry the mantle ahead. The new Liverpool skipper was impressive, but not consistent enough and was not able to be an attacking threat unlike his predecessor.
Along with this, after the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, there has been a complete transformation in Joe Allen and it’s not just the looks. Allen’s game has improved by leaps and bounds and the Welshman has been the super-sub in midfield for the new manager. With injuries to Henderson and Can, Klopp’s immediate choice for midfield was Joe Allen and he did not disappoint the manager. Allen showcased some impressive performances in the last few games and has been at the heart of the midfield.
Competition to Henderson?
Both Allen and Henderson prefer to play in the central midfield position ahead of the defensive position and favor the 4-2-3-1 formation. Jurgen Klopp also likes to play with this formation especially in the big and critical games. With Allen showing his class, Henderson might possibly have tough competition from the Welshman if he is to stay for the next season. If we look at the statistics, Allen has a better passing accuracy and completion as compared to Henderson and is also ahead in terms of the number of chances created for goal. Klopp is well aware of this situation and he will surely be assessing his options for the future. In the game against Dortmund when Allen replaced Henderson, the mood completely changed in the second half at Anfield and the passes started to stick. Also, former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman went on to praise Allen for his heroics on the big night.