Stoke City are open to a deal that would see Joe Allen leave the bet365 Stadium this summer.
That’s according to a report by the Sheffield Star, who claim that Michael O’Neill’s side are planning to offer the 31-year-old central midfielder to Sheffield United, as well as a number of other leading Championship clubs.
It is then reported that, while United have not directly declared their interest in the Wales international, Stoke believe the Blades are one of the few second-tier sides who have both the stature and financial capacity to get a deal over the line for Allen this summer.
While Allen has not exactly been a major disappointment since joining Stoke from Liverpool in what was a £13.95m deal back in the summer of 2016, the midfielder’s gradually declining level of performance and Premier League-level wage are more than enough reasons for O’Neill to move the 31-year-old on this summer.
Indeed, over his 18 Championship appearances last season, 15 of which came as starts, the £1.8m-rated man scored no goals, registered two assists and created three big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 1.2 interceptions, 1.1 tackles and 0.7 key passes per game.
As such, when taking into account that Allen is earning a whopping £50k-per-week at the bet365 Stadium, the former Swansea City star’s returns do simply not appear to be worth his cost to the club, leading us to very much hold the belief that the 51-year-old Stoke manager should indeed do all he can to move the man whom Jurgen Klopp dubbed a “quality” player onto pastures new this summer.
It may be seen as harsh to bomb out a veteran international player, but O’Neill must be ruthless, it’s time to let Allen go and to get his huge salary off the books.