Joe Allen: Stoke City midfielder can reach double goal figures

Joe Allen spent a loan spell from Swansea City at Wrexham in 2008
Joe Allen spent a loan spell from Swansea City at Wrexham in 2008

Stoke City assistant manager Mark Bowen has backed midfielder Joe Allen to continue his goalscoring form.

Allen, 26, took his Premier League tally to four goals for the season, scoring twice in the 2-0 win over Sunderland.

The Wales international only netted four league goals in four seasons with Liverpool, but plays a more attacking role for Stoke.

"Why can't he get a double figure of goals?" fellow Welshman Bowen said.

"Without putting too much pressure on him, I don't see it ending too quickly.

"He'll keep doing the things that he's doing now right through the season.

"He's played that anchor midfield role, protecting the back four and he reads the game well there.

Joe Allen (right) celebrates with Joe Ledley
Joe Allen (right) celebrates with Joe Ledley after giving Wales the lead against Austria

"But the energy and industry that he gives, sometimes when he's just sitting there, can be wasted. Why not use that industry that he's got."

Allen, who joined Stoke from Liverpool for £13m in July, also opened his Wales account with a goal in the 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Moldova in September.

The former Swansea City player also scored Wales' opening goal in the 2-2 draw in Austria, but missed the game against Georgia because of a hamstring injury.

Bowen says Allen could play in a more advanced role for Wales if Aaron Ramsey is unavailable for November's World Cup qualifier against Serbia.

Arsenal's Ramsey has not featured in Wales' opening three World Cup qualifiers are suffering a hamstring injury in the opening game of the season.

"Can Chris Coleman afford to push him in there? Who's he got who can do that job for him back there?" Bowen said.

"If he's got someone then why not push Joe further forward."

Stoke City's Welsh manager Mark Hughes says Allen was "compromised" on Wales duty after he picked up a hamstring injury.

Hughes described Allen as a "leader" as he returned to action in Stoke's 2-0 win over Sunderland, their first league win of the season.

"Mark said in his post-match press conference that Joe is becoming a leader, not just with his performances," Bowen told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

"He's got a voice and we encourage him to have even more of a voice in our dressing room."

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