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'The Welsh Xavi' leaves Liverpool in €15.5 million deal

Joe Allen has joined Mark Hughes’ Stoke City on a five-year deal.

New Stoke City signing Joe Allen
New Stoke City signing Joe Allen

STOKE CITY HAVE signed Wales midfielder Joe Allen on a five-year deal from Liverpool for a reported €15.5 million (£13 million) fee.

Allen joined Liverpool from Swansea City in 2012 and had also been linked with a return to his former club, but Stoke boss Mark Hughes has got his man.

The 26-year-old starred in Wales’ run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, winning a place in UEFA’s official team of the tournament.

Allen’s capture concluded a busy Monday at the bet365 Stadium, following the signing of highly rated Egyptian youngster Ramadan Sobhi.

Source: Stoke City FC/YouTube

“It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours for me but I am delighted to have finally been able to put pen to paper,” Allen told Stoke’s official website.

“I was really excited as soon as I heard of the club’s interest and it wasn’t a difficult decision for me to make. I am incredibly excited about my future here at Stoke City.”

Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes said Hughes would now coach a player he “has admired for a considerable amount of time” and the respect between manager and new recruit is mutual, with Allen suggesting his performances in France would not have gone unnoticed by his compatriot.

“He’s done great things in his time here already and he sold the club for me in terms of their ambition moving forward,” Allen told Stoke’s YouTube channel.

“Like every other Welsh person, I’m sure he was very interested in how it went out there [at Euro 2016]. Some of the performances I put in out there might have been what sealed the move here.”

Allen made 37 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool last season but only started eight Premier League matches and stated his peripheral status at Anfield made his decision to join Stoke an easy one.

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“Yeah, of course [I needed first-team football]. For that reason, it wasn’t too difficult really.

“As soon as I knew there was an opportunity like this there for me it was easy to make the move and my ambition now is to be a regular here and help Stoke City.”

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