For much of his time at Liverpool, Joe Allen was used as a scapegoat for the team's struggles - his midfield play apparently not good enough for a place in the squad.
However, towards the tail end of the 2015-16 season, and subsequently with Wales at Euro 2016, the 26-year-old began to showcase his ability on a regular basis.
That meant that, when Jurgen Klopp decided to offload Allen to Stoke City this summer, his exit was met with disappointment amongst a large section of Liverpool fans who felt he had finally found his footing. Speaking on his departure this week, however, Allen has now explained just why his move away was increasingly "obvious".
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And it all came down to the number of minutes he was going to get at Anfield.
"I feel refreshed and really positive," the Welshman said, via the Mirror. "I think it had come to the point where I knew I needed to move on. Personally, it was pretty obvious.
"Hopefully, I will get much more game time now and I think that is going to be really important for me in my international career as well.
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"Any player will tell you regular football makes tonnes of difference to the way you perform and the way you feel out on the football pitch.
"It comes to a certain stage in your career where, if it's not happening, then you have to go and seek it out."
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Despite appearing in all but one of Liverpool's Premier League fixtures in the final two months of the 2015-16 season, and playing a pivotal role as Wales progressed to the semi final stage of Euro 2016, Allen had clearly already got it into his head that he wasn't going to feature much in Klopp's first full campaign in charge of Liverpool.
And it would make sense that the German boss himself also made that clear over the summer before shipping him out to Stoke for around £13 million.
Considering Liverpool's inconsistent start to the new season - they've beaten Arsenal and drew to Spurs, but lost to Burnley despite having over 80 percent possession - a lot of fans on Merseyside might be wondering whether Allen could have added a different element to the club's midfield.
Jordan Henderson, for instance, has come in for a lot of criticism for his performances over the past month or so and could have been a candidate to make way and give Allen more game time.
Clearly, though, that wasn't Klopp's thinking. Whether that proves to be a wise move or one he wishes he could take back, only time will tell.
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