The player who could suffer if Liverpool follow up Can deal with Lallana move

Joe Allen Liverpool

Joe Allen's future may be subject to fresh speculation following the news that Liverpool have agreed a fee for Adam Lallana.

Brendan Rodgers brought Joe Allen with him to Anfield after switching from Swansea City for Liverpool, but the Welshman has failed to force his way into his manager's first-team plans.

Last season, Allen's injury problems made it even harder for him to break into the Liverpool side, with the form of Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard firmly keeping competitors out of the team.

Allen did, however, feature at the end of the Reds' Premier League campaign, and in a more attacking role against Norwich City and Chelsea.

But now that Liverpool have reportedly agreed a £25million fee for Adam Lallana, the Welshman's role in Rodgers' plans may become even smaller.

Jordan Henderson Liverpool MF 35 3,128
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 34 2,900
Philippe Coutinho Liverpool MF 33 2,334
Lucas Leiva Liverpool MF 27 1,872
Joe Allen Liverpool MF 24 1,438
Victor Moses Liverpool MF 19 644
Luis Alberto Liverpool MF 9 135
Jordon Ibe Liverpool MF 1 14
João Teixeira Liverpool MF 1 8

As Opta stats show, Allen played just 1,438 minutes of the Reds' league season, less than Henderson, Gerrard, Coutinho and Lucas Leiva. And with Lallana - and another summer signing Emre Can - having entered the equation, that number is only likely to decrease.

The problem for Allen is that his role is that of a play-maker. The 24-year-old, in theory, needs to turn defence into attack for Rodgers' side. For that, however, Liverpool have Gerrard and Henderson, while Lucas and also Can can now provide them with defensive solidity.

You might think Lallana's arrival will have less of an impact on Allen due to his attacking position, but the truth of the matter is the Welshman was kept on last term primarily as a reserve who could deputise both in defensive and attacking midfield.

Allen could still play that role for the Anfield club, of course, as there is no reason a young, capable midfielder should leave the club, especially when strength in numbers is required for a season containing Champions League football.

But Allen's lack of something special means he may get less and less game-time as Lallana and Can make their mark at Anfield. For the holding-midfield role, Rodgers has better options, while Liverpool now have a wider range of alternatives offensively.

It is certainly a potentially tough situation for the Welshman as he looks ahead to a new season at a club who are impressing with their summer business.

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