Liverpool’s Joe Allen has said he is prepared to and can play in any position asked by manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Welsh midfielder has been to ask fulfil more than one role since joining the club in the summer of 2012 from Swansea City.
At times he has dropped into deeper positions to play the holding role – but in the pre-season matches Rodgers tried to use him in more offensive positions, which yielded chances for Allen and a goal in the friendly against Olympiakos.
He told the Liverpool FC magazine: “I take pride in the fact that I can play in a couple of different positions and I provide different options in the team.
“People ask me about my preferred role but it’s difficult to pick a perfect position for myself. I just go out in training every day trying to improve all aspects of my game and leave that decision to the coaching staff.
“Wherever I’m picked, I’m happy to do that role. I think flexibility is the strength that we have in the team, especially in midfield. Stevie’s [Gerrard] coming into the hole to play in front of the back four.”
Whatever Allen’s position this season, his game is usually about pressing the opponents and being able to keep Liverpool in possession. He was impressive when he came on for Liverpool against Swansea City and earned a start for the victory against Southampton.
However his role is predominantly central and can depend on the other players who are available for selection, but he does have different attributes. He is able to get stuck in and does not tend to play the glamorous role in the Liverpool side, passes the ball well and is a good reader of the game.
His best role is to keep hold of the ball, and some would like to see him add more goals to his game having only scored twice in competitive fixtures.
Allen does have undoubted talent, and is great to have as part of your squad for certain games - Southampton notably - but some will want him to add more to his game.
image: © helly - b