LIVERPOOL boss Brendan Rodgers today hailed new signing Joe Allen as ‘a unique and frightening talent’.
The Liverpool manager believes he has landed one of the hottest properties in European football as the 22-year-old Welsh midfielder signed a long term contract last night after agreeing a £15m switch from Swansea.
Rodgers – his previous manager at the Liberty Stadium, declared: “This boy, when you see him play, you would think he was a European player.
“I would have paid millions for this kid. He is a unique player in that he is a British player who doesn’t give the ball away.
“You will see when he comes into this team the difference he can make.
“He’s incredible on the ball. His body work and intelligence for a 22-year-old is frightening.
“His game understanding is very good, and he is in love with the football.
“He wants the ball all the time, and he has so much courage to get on the ball and play.
“I think he will fit in really well with all the other clever players we have at the club.”
Allen himself stressed his faith in Rodgers as he insisted ‘great years’ lay ahead at Anfield.
The Welsh international put pen to paper last night after passing a medical at Melwood yesterday, having attended the Europa League victory at Anfield against Gomel on Thursday.
Allen said: “Look at the players and staff, and obviously the supporters, and everything is there for us to be successful.
“I’m looking forward to being part of some great years ahead for Liverpool Football Club.
“I have a lot of faith that Brendan Rodgers can bring success, that’s one of the reasons I’m here.
“I wanted to be part of this project, his project, and I’ve really got a good feeling - as I’m sure all the players here have - that this football club is going to go from strength to strength in the next couple of seasons.
“Brendan is so passionate about his football. He works day in, day out to improve the team and everyone individually. Everyone wants to work alongside someone who has that way about them.
“One of his best things is his man management, it’s second to none. He commands the respect of everyone and it’s no different for me.
“To join back up with him was definitely a big pull for me.”
Allen, who made his league debut for Swansea as a 17-year-old in 2007 and starred for the GB Olympics team recently, said he found it hard to believe he had signed for the five times European Champions.
He said of Liverpool’s pursuit of him: “It was hard to believe at first and very flattering to be linked to a top club like this. It shows you’re doing something right, I guess.
“I’ve always been ambitious and wanting to get to the top but getting there is a completely different thing. It’s definitely hard to believe. It’s been a quick rise for me.”
“I think if you look at the amount of games I’ve played for someone my age, that would probably only happen at a team that’s come through the leagues,” he said.
“That experience has been vital for me. I blossomed and improved because of that and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Allen said of the prospect of now playing before the Kop at Anfield: “The whole atmosphere at this ground is very rare.
“The passion that people here have for football is something I share and I want to be part of that. It’s another part of the pull to this great club.
“As a Swansea player, that was one of the days you really remembered from last season. To get the chance to be here and have that as my home ground is a special feeling. I can’t wait to experience the famous Liverpool support.
“I can’t really imagine how I’ll feel playing at Anfield right now. I’m excited about that prospect and witnessing the Anfield atmosphere and spirit, and being part of the home team, I’m sure it will be incredible.”
Allen also spoke of teaming up alongside Reds and England skipper Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva in midfield and declared: “It’s hard to believe - you find yourself pinching yourself.
“These are the kind of players I’ve grown up watching and trying to emulate. To get the chance to be playing alongside them is a fantastic feeling and it’s only going to enhance my game.
“It’s an opportunity for me personally. I’ve always been ambitious and wanted to play at the highest level I possibly could. When you see an opportunity like this it’s almost impossible to turn it down.
“I’m someone who wants to be the best I can be. Every day, in training or in matches, I always want to improve. You’ll always get 100 per cent out of me and I’m really looking forward to gelling with the top-class players who are here and doing my bit for the club.
“It’s a proud day for me and my family. They have supported me through thick and thin for so long that this is as much a reward for them as it is for me.
“I feel proud, I’m really thrilled and I’m looking forward to my time here.”