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The boy who left Swansea wants to return as the man for next season
Sunday, 8th May 2022 08:00 by Keith Haynes

This morning we review the latest information exclusively brokered by Ian Mitchelmore at Wales On Line yesterday evening. We also look at the player involved in that exclusive report, and just how Swansea City can manufacture a deal to bring him to the stadium next season.

The player of course is Joe Allen, and he is set to become a free agent having concluded his contract in the potteries with Stoke City. First of all we have to look back a lot further this Sunday morning to gather all the details as to why Allen’s potential return to his boyhood club has taken so long. Back in 2018 Joe disclosed that he was prepared to leave Liverpool two years previously, and he had his eyes firmlyy set on Swansea City. In fact when he spoke to Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp he was told he could leave if a replacement could be found.

Joe Allen recalls that month and that particular conversation. “We got to January, I spoke to Klopp and probably about ten days before the end of the transfer window said I wanted to leave, I probably went a bit early with it because it wasn’t as if I had options. I just wanted to let him know, could we sort this out. Then I remember, it was a time of a lot of soul searching and anyway I looked at it - potential moves, who might be interested and who definitely won’t be - and I remember writing an email or a letter to my agent explaining that ‘I keep coming back to Swansea, that’s all I really want. I want to go home and I want to play for them. If they want me can we try and make it happen?. Klopp had said ‘if we can get someone in then you can go’. That was pretty straightforward, but he did say ‘we don’t have anyone lined up, so if we don’t (get someone) you are staying’.

Huw Jenkins was contacted and instead of making a move for Joe Allen he decided to sit it out and monitor the situation. And that was a very poor mistake. Allen takes up the story.”At that time if you look at how my career was going, the value probably would not have cost anywhere near as much as it did in the summer, only six months later. So that was the first one, and January didn’t really happen. But Swansea had said: ‘Let’s keep an eye on this and wait until the summer’. Then the second half of the season went much better, I played more, enjoyed it more. But it was almost that final hurrah as I always knew that come the summer I had a year left on my deal”

With the summer in full flow Huw Jenkins still hadn’t made a move so Joe found himself in fine form for his club and indeed for his country in the 2016 Euros in France. “Then it was straight to the Euros, and I was keen to get it done. Why wait? I was hoping again for Swansea,” he continued. It’s ironic, but in January I had said it was Swansea and there were two other teams who, if they showed an interest, I would probably be interested in. They were Stoke and Southampton, I thought they were two stable Premier League clubs. Basically, the Euros started and there was nothing from Swansea and we played the two games and after the England game they tabled a bid.The problem was that by this stage I had had two good games at the Euros. Liverpool as a business were thinking ‘his value has increased now’ so probably waiting made it more difficult”

Swansea City fans will recall as well that year Jenkins was involved in dialogue to sell the club, and this most certainly was his principle aim at that time. Joe Allen it seemed was a poor second in his thoughts. He went to Stoke but still wanted to join the swans, but it was a no deal situation for him. He had no choice but to take the best offer, and that came from Stoke City. Swansea City missed out on a player most certainly in his prime. Fast forward to 2022 and as a free agent Joe Allen has again advised his agents he wants to return to Swansea.That was the mainstay of the media report yesterday, but of course we must remember, these are talks and the disparity between what Joe earns now and what he will get at Swansea is huge. And we mean massive.

Speaking of the potential signing of Joe Allen an excited Russell Martin has already commented on the news. “Brilliant player, brilliant character. I watched him for Wales recently," explained Martin. "He was excellent, the way he spoke to other players as well. He loves this club, I love him as a player. I will say it. I would love to [sign him]. We’ll have to wait and see. It will depend on a lot of things. We have a lot of midfielders at the club. We have some midfielders that haven’t played very much. People are going to have to leave for people to come in. But Joe is someone who would fit here perfectly. He knows the club, the club knows him. I am sure he has got plenty of offers and I am sure at some point we will sit down and have a chat about him."

The fact the manager wants him is of course crucial but with finance at the lowest level the club have had to manage in some ten years it won’t be easy. What Martin does have is a highly thought of prospect in Cameron Congreve, and many swans fans would prefer the club concentrate on him rather than sign a thirty two year year old player looking for his last contract at championship level. We tend to agree, but if the deal can be done Allen will most certainly add value to the squad for next season, and of course experience. Joe Allen has commanded nearly thirty five million pounds in transfer fee’s during his illustrious career. His wealth is huge, well in to many millions. He has just finished a two million pound plus a year contract at Stoke. He most certainly won’t get anywhere near that at Swansea, at best around half a million a year, but for us that’s still money better spent elsewhere. Yes it’s a wonderful idea, and yes we would be as pleased as anyone to see him back. But hasn’t that ship sailed ? Unless of course Joe thinks back to how he has had such a magnificent career, and indeed who gave him the launch pad to be such a success in the game ?

Possibly then, and maybe just maybe, he may think it’s worth the sacrifice to join the swans. The club that made Joe Allen could be the making of the next stage in his football career.

Just maybe.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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