Football

Welsh wizard 'could play for Chelsea' - manager

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Brendan Rodgers has hailed Joe Allen's start to life as a Barclays Premier League player, declaring: "He could play for Chelsea."

Having been used sparingly in the Swans' opening three fixtures of the season, a succession of injuries and suspensions meant that the 21-year-old Welsh international was given the nod from the start in the recent trip to Arsenal.

The talented midfielder performed well, and has continued to keep his place in the Swansea side - showing why he deserves a starting berth in last weekend's 4-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Despite the result, Rodgers is focusing on the positives that can be taken from that game, and Allen's performance is certainly one of them - after confirming that the youngster has all the tools needed to play in the top echelons of the English game.

"I always look at players, my own players and others, who have not experienced life at the top level and I wonder if any of them could play for a club like Chelsea," he said.


 

"And certainly, I looked at Joe last Saturday and felt he was someone who could play at that level.

"There's no question about it for me — he has got those qualities with the ball that you need. His performance at Chelsea was excellent."

Allen played a pivotal role in helping the Swans gain promotion from the Npower Championship last season, but found the initial transition difficult due to his lack of first-team opportunities.

But having finally been given the nod he is looking to prove he has what it takes to succeed at England's top-table.

"He showed great tenacity in his game at Chelsea," Rodgers continued. "Some players can go and play against the bigger teams and they will be nervous or they will hold back.

"For some the whole day will be a blur because of the size of the game. But for Joe it wasn't like that. You could see he loved being there — he felt comfortable on the ball and technically he was exceptional in the game.

"He played as if he was playing against any other team. He is the type who has been born with a gift and, whether he was playing in front of five people or 500,000, his mentality would be the same."

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Topics:
Football
Joe Allen
Premier League
Swansea City

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