Stoke City’s Joe Allen confessed he received texts from friends, congratulating him on his off-season transfer from Liverpool, before he even found out about the move.
After playing a key role in Wales’ memorable run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, Allen was on holiday in Ibiza when he found out he was being sold to Stoke.
The normally reserved midfielder admitted his dissatisfaction with how the transfer was handled, but is ultimately happy with his current situation.
“I actually had a text message off a friend congratulating me about making the move when I didn’t even know it was happening at the time,” Allen told the Telegraph.
“Not knowing whether the club intend to sell you or keep you, especially when you’re trying to ask the question, is disappointing.
“The communication wasn’t great but as soon as Liverpool accepted an offer I knew what their intentions were for me. It’s irrelevant now because I’ve got the move that I wanted.”
Allen’s reputation was greatly enhanced through his performances at Euro 2016, as Wales’ metronome in the midfield while Aaron Ramsey played in an advanced role.
His best game came in Wales’ resounding 3-1 win over Belgium on the way to a spot in the Team of the Tournament, while last weekend saw him give Stoke a calming presence, with the game in the balance against Middlesbrough.
Despite just eight Premier League starts under Jurgen Klopp last season, the popular Allen said he bore no grudges, with the move to Stoke being a logical decision.
“Being a regular wasn’t going to happen and that’s fair enough. If you look at the quality Liverpool have got in midfield, and maybe the age of the players, I think I’d have been waiting for injuries and suspensions,” he said.
“I’m not going to be happy unless I’m on the pitch on a regular basis. I’m 26 now and the next four or five years are going to be my best. I’m really excited about this move because the ambition is there to get better.
“In the three seasons Mark Hughes has had you’ve seen the progress Stoke have made, the players he’s brought in and the style he’s imposed.”