As Liverpool head into the home stretch of their season, thoughts are turning towards Jürgen Klopp's first major transfer window. Rumours fly fast and furious as to which players he might bring in, leaving fans to compile lists of players who may be required to play their trade elsewhere in order to make room for the new recruits.
Straddling the "keep" and "sell" lists in equal measure is wee Joe Allen. The Welsh midfielder has been more likely to stay on the bench or make a substitute appearance than start since Klopp took over the side, but on the occasions where he has featured he's managed to consistently do a job. It's not an ideal situation from the player's point of view, and fellow Welshman and Liverpool legend Ian Rush decided to weigh in on the matter after Wales' draw against Northern Ireland last Thursday.
"Joe's frustrated by not being in the team," Rush speculated. "I've seen a lot of players who are happy on the bench, but the thing with Joe Allen is he's not happy doing that. If he's not happy then he might well want to move on.
It's unclear whether or not Rush actually spoke to Allen about the latter's dissatisfaction with his playing time, or if Rush is making an educated guess based on the reasonable thesis that football players like to play football regularly. Rush has his own theory about how the diminutive Welshman can push his way back into Jürgen Klopp's side, and it's one that's likely to bring a bit of delight to Liverpool fans.
"I've noticed the last few times he's played for Liverpool," Rush explained, "he's getting in scoring positions and getting the odd goal, which he hasn't done before. The Euros will be big for him, to prove that he should be playing every week. For me, I hope that's for Liverpool.
"But what I like about Joe is he knows to get a regular game these days he has to score goals. He's done that, a few times, Christian Benteke is knocking it down and there's Joe in the six-yard box! He wasn't doing that under Brendan [Rodgers]."
That Allen hasn't ever been much of a goal scorer and wasn't signed for that purpose could put a damper on his chances, especially since his two goals in all competitions so far this season ties his previous personal best since moving to Merseyside. But as Rush notes, Allen has done very well in recent weeks to add some attacking flair to his game, and such versatility may be enough to convince Klopp to keep him on next season.