Allen hails striking options

Joe Allen believes Liverpool are now better equipped to deal with the absence of Luis Suarez.

Last Updated: 06/08/13 at 19:37 Post Comment

Allen: Thinks Liverpool can cope well without Suarez

Allen: Thinks Liverpool can cope well without Suarez

Joe Allen believes Liverpool are now better equipped to deal with the absence of last season's leading goalscorer Luis Suarez.

The Uruguay international, who has told the club he wants to play in the Champions League, is suspended for the first six games of this season as his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic is carried over.

There is also the prospect the 26-year-old will not still be at the club come next month as he has been the subject of two failed bids from Arsenal - the last being an offer of £40million plus £1 which they thought would trigger a sale clause.

While Liverpool have remained steadfast in their stance that Suarez is not for sale, speculation about his future refuses to go away, with legal action and Premier League arbitration reported to be possible routes his advisors are exploring.

Allen, unlike captain Steven Gerrard who has told Suarez he wants him to stay, has steered clear of becoming involved in the saga.

"I think there are individual situations and as players you just get on with it," he said.

"You keep your nose out. We are all waiting to see what will happen."

But the Wales international feels there are more goals in the side now than 12 months ago to lessen the impact should Suarez depart. At the start of last season Suarez, who finished the campaign with 30 goals, almost single-handedly carried the club as their only senior striker after Andy Carroll was loaned to West Ham and a last-minute deal for Clint Dempsey fell through.

This summer manager Brendan Rodgers has brought in attacking reinforcements early, securing the services of Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas and Sevilla midfielder Luis Alberto, and is currently pursuing a £21.8million deal for Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa.

"Maybe that was a slight problem last year in that we didn't quite get the players we wanted in time and it left the squad a bit bare at times," Allen added.

"There were a lot of games, especially early on in the season, when we didn't quite get the breakthrough goal.

"But with the quality that has been brought in to add to the quality we already have, you can see the attacking way we want to play and we are reaping the rewards of that.

"This season we have had the chance to get players in early, which has been great to allow us to have a full pre-season working together.

"If we have any injuries or suspensions we have players who can step in and do the job just as well, so I think the signs are really positive in those regards."

Allen himself was on target in Gerrard's testimonial victory over Olympiacos on Saturday and could easily have had a first-half hat-trick.

Having begun his first season at the club positively his performances tailed off as a shoulder problem got progressively worse and he eventually underwent surgery in March which prematurely ended his campaign.

It did, however, allow him to come back in plenty of time for pre-season and he feels he has benefited from that.

"It has been different. Obviously I've had the chance to have the full pre-season this year because I missed the tour last year (having signed just a week before the new season started)," he said.

"I got a goal and things went quite well on Saturday, although I missed a couple of chances.

"I'd like to think there are a couple of positions I can offer something in so when I get my chance to play whatever position I need to show I can perform and do the job.

"There is massive competition for places in the squad and that is what you want as it as it always brings out the best in everyone.

"You know if you are off your game slightly there is someone waiting in the wings to take your spot."

Liverpool have won all five of their pre-season friendlies and are yet to concede a goal.

They face Valerenga in Norway tomorrow before heading to Dublin to play Celtic in their final warm-up ahead of the season starting at home to Stoke.

"From the team's point of view we've had a successful tour and some great performances and results in friendlies," Allen said.

"It's an exciting time for the club and everyone involved."


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