Liverpool legend: This unlikely hero has stepped up to replace Gerrard

Joe Allen Liverpool

John Aldridge believes there is an unlikely hero to Liverpool’s recent upturn in form.

The Reds are starting to charge up the Premier League table, and their recent form has been down to an unappreciated star according to John Aldridge’s column in the Daily Post.

An incredible run of form since mid-December has seen the Merseyside club lose just two games in 20 - both not in the Premier League - meaning that the race for top-four football is well and truly on. On current form, Liverpool look most likely to qualify for next season’s Champions League, and they should seriously be looking to fight off Manchester City to second place.

A change in system has aided this return to form, with the 3-4-2-1 allowing Brendan Rodgers to incorporate all his attacking stars and get the best out of them. Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho have all rightfully earned the plaudits, whilst Jordan Henderson has been growing into the captain role vacated by Steven Gerrard - who has been out of action through injury.

However, former Reds striker John Aldridge believes that there is one player who has been underappreciated throughout this upturn, and it is this player who has actually filled the void left by Gerrard.

Writing in his column in the Daily Post, Aldridge said: “Joe Allen epitomised everything that was good about Liverpool in the richly deserved victory over Manchester City. That was the Welshman’s best performance for the club.

“Allen takes a lot of stick at times but he showed what he’s all about. He was tigerish the way he won every battle and he didn’t give the ball away. In the absence of Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva, we needed Allen to step up to the plate and he’s done that.”

Allen played the full 90 minutes of the victory over Manchester City, and he put in a solid performance. The Welsh international won three tackles, made two interceptions, and completed an impressive 88% of his passes - totalling 57. He may not be as showy as Gerrard in his midfield play, but his recent performances have shown that he is currently on good form, and it would come as no surprise to see him keep his place in the first-team even when the Reds captain returns from injury.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch