Liverpool go into the preseason training with all of their new signings back at Melwood to get used to life in Merseyside. Sadio Mane, Joel Matip, Marko Grujic and Loris Karius have all reported at the reds’ training base while many of the players are still at the Euros looking to make their country proud. One or two more additions are expected in the remaining two months of the Premier League and as the weak areas are being addressed by Klopp one by one, there is belief that Liverpool will challenge for a top four finish next season.
Some of the existing members of the squad face uncertainty about their place in the team, come the start of next season against Arsenal. The reds have nine practice games before the start of the new season and youngsters will be given many opportunities to secure a place in the first team. Senior members like Simon Mignolet, Joe Allen and last season buy Christian Benteke faces uncertainty as the non performing Martin Skrtel nears his exit to Turkey. Christian Benteke will be soon offloaded to Crystal Palace as he is not in the manager’s master plan and the reds have done well to recoup all his transfer money.
One name that has changed his perception at the club and has a huge backing now is Joe Allen, who is having a brilliant Euros for Wales in their fairytale run in the competition. He arrived in 2012 as Brendan Rodgers’ marquee signing for £15 million and the name given to him of ‘Welsh Xavi’ stuck and he just couldn’t live up to his standards set in Swansea and was under constant criticism from the supporters. Fans called for his head last summer, but wasn’t sold and became a squad player for Rodgers.
His fortunes changed with the arrival of Jurgen Klopp and his tactics from defending from the front favoured Allen and quickly started to make an impression in the second half of the season. Though he couldn’t get into the team more often, he became an impact sub and influenced many games with his crucial cameos. Allen’s best contribution was against Dortmund in an epic encounter which resulted in a 4-3 victory for the reds. No doubt that this was the best season for the Welshman and he should be applauded for his perseverance and calmness for waiting for his chances.
He can dictate the tempo of the game now and keeps the play ticking at all times. Though he might not get into the team at all times, but as last season, he can be the Super sub that reds need and can influence games in the latter stages of the game. Allen deserves a chance to cement his place and will be in much demand after a successful Euros, and the reds should hold onto him as Allen can play a crucial part to regain a place in the Champions League.