Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey took home the plaudits for a breathtaking Welsh display but it was Liverpool’s Joe Allen who did all the dirty work and got due attention for it as well, as people took to social media to commend the ‘Welsh Pirlo’ on a phenomenal performance against Russia.
It was a historic night for Wales as Chris Coleman’s side put out a display that Craig Bellamy aptly summarized as “the best Welsh performance he has seen in his lifetime”to send them through to the knockouts of the Euros. It was a performance unbecoming of a side that was seemingly making it’s first major tournament appearance in 58 years as they brushed aside tournament regulars Russia by an emphatic 3-0 margin. The victory also put them top of the group over neighbours England who could only salvage a draw against Slovakia at Saint Etienne.
Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have been the face of Wales’ fairy-tale campaign so far, however after turning in two man of the match performances against Slovakia and Russia, Joe Allen has re-affirmed his transition to the ‘Welsh Pirlo’ and has had fans raving about him. Allen’s cult status at Liverpool has infectiously spread over to the large faction of Wales supporters in France and back home as they sung praises of the 26-year-old midfielder for his remarkable contribution towards his side’s unlikely progress through to the knock-outs.
I believe in joe Allen
— The Barry Horns (@thebarryhorns) June 20, 2016
When you see Joe Allen’s assist. pic.twitter.com/2aaal3a1PI
— Deluded Brendan (@DeludedBrendan) June 20, 2016
Number of assists at #EURO2016
Joe Allen (1)
Paul Pogba (0)
David Silva (0)
Luka Modric (0)
Julian Draxler (0) pic.twitter.com/fJxBFNKlYo
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 20, 2016
— JJ (@Jamesrjenkins_) June 20, 2016
— leighton dawkins (@dawkyboi) June 20, 2016
Joe Allen really is better than Pirlo
— Josh Coombes (@JCoombes91) June 20, 2016
If Barcelona do not sign Joe Allen after this Euro tournament, then theres something seriously wrong⚽️
— Ben Williams (@Benwilliams45) June 20, 2016
— WalesOnline (@WalesOnline) June 20, 2016
— Gareth Bale © (@NewsGarethBale) June 20, 2016
Liverpool fans call for Joe Allen to remain at Anfield
The midfielder has been sparingly used in his time at Anfield but over the past year, he has turned in some good performances for Liverpool whenever called upon to do so. His transition into a calm, composed and versatile midfielder, along with his bearded-looks, have helped him adopt a cult status among the Kopites. However, Liverpool fans fear that Jurgen Klopp’s interest in midfielders like Piotr Zielinski and Mahmoud Dahoud could signal the end of Allen’s Anfield career.
Joe Allen has been voted as Wales’ MOTM in every group game so far if I’m not mistaken. Very good player, he needs to stay at #LFC
— Brad (@KeeperKarius) June 20, 2016
Running around after Piotr Zielinski who’s struggling to get into the Poland XI while Allen has the tournament in the palm of his hand. 🤔
— Dave O’Connell (@DaveOCKOP) June 20, 2016
Standing ovation for Joe Allen in Toulouse. He has been superb. Wales 3-0 up and coasting towards a fantastic win
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) June 20, 2016
Joe Allen has been one of the best players at the Euros. It’d be a shame if we sold him.
— – (@AnfieldRd96) June 20, 2016
Seriously though, man of the match against Slovakia, solid game against England and a great assist tonight. Crazy for #LFC to let Allen go.
— Dave O’Connell (@DaveOCKOP) June 20, 2016
Don’t sell Allen. Don’t you dare. @LFC
— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) June 20, 2016
— WELSH SCOUSER 5k (@jimmypreece75) June 20, 2016
Should Liverpool sell him?
In Klopp’s first summer of transfer activity, the Reds are being linked with a number of players in various areas of the park with midfielders crowding the German’s supposed ‘wish-list’. There is no guarantee of a regular first team spot at Liverpool and hence the Welshman was touted to leave the club along with many others this summer. However Allen, before jetting off to France along with national side, stated that he’ll have a look in to the Reds’ transfer activity this summer before he decides his future.
On the one hand, with every accurate pass, tackle, dribble and nutmeg (just ask Wayne Rooney) Allen’s price will continue to rise. But it will also only remind Liverpool of what Allen is capable of on his day – and that his form is no joke like his exaggerated comparisons to Xavi and Andrea Pirlo. Consider the calibre of midfielders Allen has been up against this tournament – Rooney, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Marik Hamsik – it is one thing to do it against Cyprus or Israel, another entirely to do it at the highest level. If he can continue this run against bigger opposition, Klopp may want to rethink his pursuit of an unknown entity like Piotr Zielinski.
In most of Liverpool’s dealings this summer, the absence of European football seems to hurt their prospects of snapping potential targets. Having said that, Klopp must consider holding on to Allen for another year knowing what he’s capable of. The protective role he has played for the Welsh back-line aside his normal midfield duties is one aspect of his style of play Klopp could look to exploit in his bid to add more stability in-front of Liverpool’s often leaky defence. The German has been forced to let go of many priced assets at his former clubs, and with Joe Allen he has the potential of creating another one but as it stands, there is every chance he could lose him as well with former club Swansea hot favourites to bring him back in the summer.