Wee Joe Allen had built up quite a cult following towards the end of his Liverpool career. Despite rarely really shining on the pitch and typically never looking like more than a competent backup midfielder for a team with Champions League ambitions, his charming quirkiness, luscious locks, and self-effacing character all added up to a player who garnered remarkable amounts of love from the fans. By all accounts, teammates loved him too, and the disclosure of a weekly Joe Allen appreciation day meshed well with his impressive performances at the 2016 Euros.
When the Welsh Pirlo - going into the final year of his contract - joined Mark Hughes' surprisingly compelling project at Stoke for £13m this summer, it seemed a deal that benefited all parties; Allen would get playing time, Liverpool would be reimbursed with the majority of their initial outlay for a player unlikely to feature much in the upcoming season, and Stoke would gain an experienced player to partner Giannelli Imbula in central midfield, and hopefully in a hilarious mismatched buddy cop show. All was well. So it is a little disappointing to hear that the Welsh Xavi wasn't even notified by his own club that he was being moved on:
"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.
"Not knowing whether the club intend to sell you or keep you, especially when you’re trying to ask the question, is disappointing.
"If I’m honest, to find out they accepted an offer through the press isn’t the best way of going about business, I don’t think.
"The communication wasn’t great but as soon as Liverpool accepted an offer I knew what their intentions were for me. It was a bit strange but that’s how things happen sometimes.
"There was no real goodbye, but I’m not the most sentimental person anyway. It’s irrelevant now because sitting here I’ve got the move I wanted."
Having never been one to rock the boat, there seems to be little to suggest the former Red is being anything but truthful. And that's not a good look for Liverpool. Coming out the same week as Fernando Torres' revelations about the goings-on behind the scenes during his move to Chelsea, this piece of news paints the club in a light that it would do well to ameliorate, ideally with some sort of explanation.