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Allen: Thumb twiddling bench duties forced my Liverpool exit

Joe Allen has revealed that being left “twiddling my thumbs” on the bench at Liverpool made his decision to join Stoke City an easy one.

The Wales midfielder, who impressed with his displays at Euro 2016 to earn a place in UEFA’s team of the tournament, last month called time on a four-year spell at Anfield that yielded only 60 Premier League starts.

Allen hoped the arrival of Jurgen Klopp would give him a new lease of life, but was left to reconsider after being restricted to a cameo role and ultimately sealed a switch to the Potters.

“When a new manager comes in, you’re hoping you can impress and get in the team,” the 26-year-old told Sky Sports.

“I thought that his style would suit me, but it wasn’t quite to be. In all fairness, the competition in midfield was tough all season so there’s not too many complaints on my part. 

“I don’t want to be sat twiddling my thumbs on the bench and I wanted to make sure if I could change it I would.

“It wasn’t a difficult decision to move and I’m not looking back with any regrets.”

He added: “I’m excited about the future in my career. At 26, the best years are still in front of me and naturally I’m looking forward to them.

“I look back and I’ve got fond memories, it was a huge privilege to play for a club like Liverpool, but the timing was right for me to move on. 

“I was hoping this opportunity [to join Stoke] would come up in the summer and thankfully it’s all worked out well. I’m looking forward to the new chapter in my career.”

Allen will hope to earn his Stoke debut in Saturday’s trip to newly promoted Middlesbrough, but will not get a chance to face his old club in league action until December 26.

Thu 11 Aug, 2016
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