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Joe Allen has thrived from super-sub role

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Liverpool have finished this season strongly and should feel particularly positive after considering that it was not too long ago they were languishing mid-table with a physio's bench creaking under the weight of first team players.

While unable to break into the top four and automatically qualify for next year's Champions League, the Merseysiders have every chance of being there on merit if they win the Europa League - something they are now favourites to do after their thrilling victory over Dortmund last week.

In addition to their recent European success, Liverpool have only dropped 18 points in the Premier League since Christmas, putting them third in the form table and also reached the League Cup final in February.

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Players like Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi and Dejan Lovren have all made good accounts of themselves lately but one player's impact on the side seems to be the main factor behind Liverpool's recent run of form.

The Welsh international's effect hasn't been in the form of goals or glitzy but there is a cult following on the Kop for the Terrier-like midfielder and it seems to be well deserved.

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Allen's influence in games where Liverpool looked to be running out of steam and ideas has been notable. As a substitute, he has been the game-changer, not just against Dortmund but also in the previous tie against Manchester United and it actually started even further back when they faced Arsenal in January, getting the stoppage time winner.

The 26-year-old is the type of player that every fan would want in their club's ranks. Not ornate or speculative, but in possession of a consistent technical ability and superhuman work rate. Recruited by Brendan Rodgers, who also managed him previously at Swansea, for a long time he had been seen as an unwelcome reminder of a regrettable period in the recent history of the club, but things have changed.

FBL-ENG-PR-BOURNEMOUTH-LIVERPOOL

Allen's determination and efforts on the training ground have impressed Klopp and, with injuries to Jordan Henderson and Emre Can, he has been rewarded with a lot more playing time than he would have previously been granted. A player who so easily could have been forgotten as yet another ill-advised gamble in the transfer market for Liverpool has become a fan favourite and a potent string to their bow.

When Real Madrid sold Claude Makelele to fund the purchase of David Beckham in 2003, Zinedine Zidane famously told Real boss Florentino Perez, "You may have added another layer of gold paint to the Rolls Royce, but you have just sold the engine." A sentiment Jurgen Klopp would do well to heed.

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Topics:
Steven Gerrard
Football
Emre Can
Liverpool
Premier League
Jordan Henderson
Joe Allen

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