Robbie Savage: Why Joe Allen can become Liverpool’s Michael Carrick

Former Wales international Robbie Savage explains why compatriot Joe Allen is becoming a valued Liverpool player

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff

Joe Allen could be Liverpool’s answer to Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, according to Robbie Savage.

The Wales international has enjoyed a run in Brendan Rodgers’ first-team in the absence of injured Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard over the past five weeks.

Allen does not have the same influence on Liverpool’s attack at the moment – six good games do not make you the new Michael Carrick

Robbie Savage

Allen has helped Liverpool to secure four successive wins in the Premier League without their veteran skipper, completing 90 minutes against Southampton, Manchester City, Burnley and Swansea City.

Former Blackburn Rovers midfielder Savage believes Allen is blossoming into an underrated but key part of the Liverpool side, likening the Welshman to experienced United star Carrick.

“Forget him living up to his nickname of ‘the Welsh Xavi’ – the biggest compliment I can pay Joe Allen is that, if he maintains his current form, he could become Liverpool’s answer to Michael Carrick.,” Savage wrote ahead of Liverpool’s clash against United at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday.

“By that I mean Allen becoming more than just a quiet, effective midfielder who doesn’t always get noticed but does a decent job sitting in front of his defence.

“Carrick also rarely makes the headlines, but he has a calming effect on his team-mates because he is always available for them when they are in possession and helps them to flourish.”

Savage added: “Allen does not have the same influence on Liverpool’s attack at the moment – six good games do not make you the new Michael Carrick.

“But, in the last few weeks, the Wales midfielder has played a big part in helping the Reds maintain their unbeaten run in the Premier League.”

Savage explained what qualities Carrick, who signed a new 12-month deal with the 20-time English champions on Friday, brings to Louis van Gaal’s side.

“He is so composed on the ball too but the biggest reason Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal rates him so highly in that role is the way he sets the attacking tempo of the team,” Savage added.

“His first thought is to play the ball forward, rather than sideways or backwards which has been happening too often while he has been out injured.

“If I was picking the United team to play at Anfield on Sunday, Carrick would be the first name on my team-sheet because he showed against Tottenham last week how pivotal he is to the way they want to play.”

Allen has scored one goal in 67 Premier League appearances following his £15m move to Liverpool from Swansea City in 2011.

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