Is Joe Allen morphing from the 'Welsh Xavi' into the 'Welsh Pirlo'?
Laugh it up all you want, chumps, because it's happening.
Back in 2012, Brendan Rodgers signed Joe Allen for Liverpool and famously referred to him as the 'Welsh Xavi'. It was typical Brendan - all shimmering teeth and hollow bravado. The unassuming Allen looked embarrassed and bashful at the comparison, but it stuck. In a bad way.
The subsequent years have shown that the tongue-in-cheek comparison was perhaps someway wide of the mark. Although displaying a similar fondness for recycling the ball and conversing possession, the former Swansea man hasn't quite hit the heights of his Catalan equivalent.
But under Jurgen Klopp, Allen has been quietly morphing into another legendary icon of the modern game - one Andrea Pirlo. That's right. Our boy has gone all continental and now cuts quite a dash with his unkempt locks and thick beard. Mamma mia!
And it's not just the brooding Italian look that Allen has adopted. The timid metronomic midfielder seems to have added a touch of Pirlo class and flair to his play. Witness the fitness of this ridiculous cool no-look pass to set up Jordon Ibe's goal against Stoke...
This assist from Joe Allen! Brilliant! pic.twitter.com/e4plWRVpUn
— Sai (@TheEngancheRole) January 5, 2016
The wonderful vision and awareness, the nonchalant audacity, the casual yet inch-perfect execution. The BEARD. Remind you of anyone? That's right. The Welsh Xavi is dead. Long live the Pembrokeshire Pirlo.