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Rodgers hails 'courageous' Allen
Mar 20, 2014 12:57 PM EST
Brendan Rodgers is delighted with the performances of "courageous" Joe Allen in the heart of the Liverpool midfield.
Allen followed Rodgers to Merseyside from Swansea City two years ago and, after making 21 Premier League starts in his debut season at Anfield, has featured less prominently in 2013-14, making the starting XI in the league on just nine occasions.
The latest of those came in Sunday's 3-0 demolition of fierce rivals Manchester United, and Rodgers feels Allen's display at Old Trafford showed everybody what he could do.
"Joe was outstanding at Old Trafford," he said. "I believe that he is one of the top Premier League talents.
"He's such a courageous player. He came in here and started his first season remarkably well; in the first three months, I think he was the supporters' player of the month.
"He then had a difficult period, came back and did very well in training and then got injured. His first season was a bit up and down, just purely because of injury.
"At Old Trafford, he covered more ground than anyone. The way he presses the ball and looks after the ball; in this country, sometimes it can be frowned upon.
"People look for midfield players that are either scoring goals and wanting goals or smashing into challenges.
"Joe is a really intelligent footballer; he understands the ball, he protects the ball really well for the team, and his work-rate and intensity is incredible.
"He's going to prove to be an outstanding player here. At the moment, he's nearly at the top of his game and performing very well. I'm hopeful that will continue."