Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he only replaced Joe Allen against Stoke City because he needs him for future games.
Speaking after the club's emphatic 4-1 victory over Mark Hughes's side, as per the Liverpool Echo, the enigmatic coach insisted that the Welshman was 'brilliant' but claims that he still isn't 100% fit.
Allen produced one of his best performances of the campaign as the Reds warmed up for their Europa League quarter-final showdown against Borussia Dortmund in style.
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The former Swansea City man played just over an hour on Sunday afternoon and has now given himself every chance of securing a place in the starting XI against Thomas Tuchel's side on Thursday. Klopp was certainly impressed with Allen, insisting that he's a really good option for the club.
When discussing the impact of Allen, the Reds chief stated: "He was brilliant. There is no other word for this. We only took him off because we need him.
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"Joe is not 100 percent fit, but it is not possible because he couldn’t train often enough. He was always on the bench because we have needed him.
"He’s a really good player. Now, hopefully he stays healthy forever and now he’s a really good option."
The debate over Allen's future has been the subject of interest recently - he has only featured on 13 occasions in the Premier League this season - but he is starting to prove his credentials under Klopp's guidance.
If he can continue to express himself between now and the end of the campaign, then he may well retain his status as a Liverpool player ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.
A solid performance against Dortmund this week will certainly further boost him in his pursuit of redemption on Merseyside.
After securing an impressive 1-1 draw in Germany last week, the Reds stand every chance of securing their place in the semi-final of the competition. Klopp and co. will be well aware, however, that they can't rest on their laurels ahead of the second fixture.
Securing Europa League glory represents Liverpool's only realistic chance of claiming a place in next season's Champions League competition.
But they will be well aware that Dortmund will be just as determined to claim the win on Thursday. Tuchel rested a number of his key players for his side's Bundesliga clash against Schalke this past weekend. The German outfit failed to secure all three points, but their elite players should be fresh ahead of this week's tie.
Who will qualify for the semi-final of the Europa League: Dortmund or Liverpool? Have your say below!
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