The midfielder has impressed since his return to the Liverpool starting line-up
Joe Allen's time at Liverpool has not really got going yet. Plagued by injuries and poor form the Welshman knows he needs to start performing and to do so consistently if he is to make the grade at a rapidly improving Liverpool.
Credit to him then for doing just that over the last few games. Two difficult away trips to Southampton and Manchester United have seen 3-0 victories and it is no coincidence the clean sheets that have evaded Liverpool for most of the season were secured on the back of Allen starting both games.
Allen's role for Liverpool can often be overlooked, the controller being hardly a much-talked about position. But his reintroduction into the fold has given the side much more stability.
Perhaps the most comfortable under pressure with the ball at his feet, Allen is constantly looking to keep possession and play ticking along. It allows Liverpool to remain firmly in control of the game and the longer they have the ball, the less damage the opposition can do.
What stood out most however, in the United match especially, was Allen's aggression without the ball. He never let the United players settle for a moment and was always looking to hand the initiative to the away side.
Winning the decisive penalty as he did was a surprise. Seeing him as far advanced as he that was a risk, but one that paid off handsomely. Showing clever movement to run across Phil Jones and provide an option for Jordan Henderson and then taking the ball on the chest before going to ground after a heavy challenge, Allen is clearly a man playing with confidence.
Phillipe Coutinho's poor form of late has allowed Allen a way back into the side and he is definitely making the most not to let go of the opportunity, so much so that he should now be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Is Joe Allen worth starting with for the remainder of Liverpool's games this season?