Belfast Telegraph

Rodgers heaps praise on Allen

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed the talent of young midfielder Joe Allen following his man-of-the-match display in Sunday's 2-0 victory over Stoke.

The 21-year-old produced a composed performance in the win over the Potters, proving a reassuring presence on the ball as Swansea dealt ably with the Potters' direct, physical approach.

Rodgers said: "Joe is a wonderful talent, he is a great kid and, if he stays here for his development, in the next couple of years he can become a top player."

He added: "He has great composure and he needs to play in a team that plays good football, that's the reality of where he is at.

"He played a lot of games last season, although he has not played as many this time, but he is a clever boy.

"He doesn't waste his time doing stupid things, he concentrates on his football, looks after himself and prepares well.

"He is only 5ft 7in but his performance against Stoke was 6ft 7in."

Allen has now joined up with the Wales squad for their Euro 2012 qualifiers against Switzerland and Bulgaria, and Rodgers is backing his man for a place in Gary Speed's side, who have lost midfielder Joe Ledley to injury.

Rodgers said: "Wales have a lot of talented players but I will always back my own, especially with the style Gary and his coaching team are trying to produce."

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