Price: £15 million
The young Welshman made quite an impact on the Premier League in his debut season. Under the tutelage of new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, he started 31 games for Swansea, turning in consistently good performances. In comparison to Allen’s brilliance, Liverpool’s midfield failed to shine with players such as Charlie Adam and Jay Spearing turning in poor performances on a regular basis (and it remains to be seen what will become of Alberto Aquilani and Joe Cole).
Most people would agree that Liverpool need to strengthen this area of their game if they are to finish the season inside the top four, and Joe Allen seems to be a likely candidate to fill the void. Having worked with Rodgers before, he will know what is expected of him should he make the move to Anfield, and if Rodgers is to introduce a Swansea-esque system at Liverpool then who better to be the lynch-pin than the man who did it for him at his former club?
One stumbling block, however, is the rumoured agreement made between Liverpool and Swansea upon the transfer of Rodgers, whereby Liverpool are forbidden from making any approaches for Swansea players. This may prove to be nothing more than a tactic employed by Swansea to increase the price of their star midfielder as they will be acutely aware that Liverpool have recently signed several big-money sponsorship deals and may be keen to capitalize on that.
Value for Money: 7/10
At just 22 years of age, Joe Allen fits perfectly into Liverpool’s “moneyball” transfer system, as even if he does turn out to be a flop they will still be able to recuperate some of the money they spent on him (much like what appears to be happening with Andy Carroll). However, should he turn out to be a success at the club, then £15 million will turn out to be a bargain as he should be well capable of giving the club at least another 10 years of quality football.
In addition, his wage demands are unlikely to be astronomical since he would be arriving from a club who has enjoyed the financial security the Premier League brings for just one season. He signed a new four-year contract at the beginning of last season, but the terms are unlikely to be too high (especially compared to some worse players currently sitting on Liverpool’s bench).
This transfer loses Value for Money marks due to the fact that the player has just one season of Premier League experience behind him. There are lots of more experienced players available at a similar or lower price (such as Arteta to Arsenal for £10 million) who would guarantee a certain level of performance week in, week out. Should Allen lose his first season confidence, Liverpool could find themselves with a hole in their midfield and in their pocket.
Rumour Rating: 7/10
This one is a gamble. Should it work out, then Liverpool are looking at signing a potential club legend for just £15 million but if it all goes wrong then suddenly it isn’t “just” £15 million any more.
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