Brendan Rodgers says Joe Allen could return in mid-August after undergoing surgery on a shoulder injury.
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The Welsh midfielder was expected to miss the season start but hopefully he’ll only miss a handful of games, and because he’s been involved in the conditional training this Summer, it shouldn’t take him too long to gain full fitness.
Rodgers is a big fan of developing and improving young players. He did it when he was Youth Team Manager at Chelsea, and he liked utilising young players when he was manager at Watford and Reading respectively.
The Swansea City manager says Allen is an outstanding talent, and he has the potential to make it to the big time.
He told Wales Online:
“I worked with a lot of big talents during my time at Chelsea,”
“The likes of Stoch, Sinclair and Mancienne have all gone on to play in the Premier League.
“So I feel I am well qualified to talk about youngsters with big potential. Joe is up there in that bracket. He is a very, very gifted player. I liked him from afar when I watched Swansea play.
“He is a player that`s comfortable with the ball, he makes good passes and he has got a bit of devilment in him as well. He isn`t afraid to put his foot in, which is good because it means he can look after himself.
“I`ve said to him, once he matures mentally, he is going to be an outstanding talent.”
“It`s not just about ability,” he explained. “It`s about a player`s mentality and you need to see that over a period of time.
“There`s lots of talented players, but they just don`t have the correct application to the game. From what I have seen of Joe though, he is in love with his football and he has the right passion.
“What happens is up to him. He has got the talent, but he knows having talent alone is not enough.
“There`s no doubt he is a big prospect. I need to spend more time working with him before I can really judge him, though.”
Rodgers added that he couldn’t be at a better place to develop as a player:
“This is the best place for Joe to be in terms of his development,” he declared. “It`s his home town, he is established in the first team and he will play in a footballing side that suits his talents.
“As someone who has developed and nurtured talent, I am looking forward to working with him here. He is going to be a big part of this group for years to come.
“The great thing is that he is going to be in an environment that will allow him to progress. I hope it will be a great couple of years for him.
“I`m sure he will progress through to being an important Welsh international. He is going to be an outstanding player.”
Regarding his injury, Allen will be able to ‘hit the ground running’, says Rodgers:
“Joe is working hard on his fitness,”
“But we have to restrict him on certain aspects of training.
“We need to be careful with him because of the injury. But we are hoping to get him back mid-August and the good thing is that, because he is working in training, he can hit the ground running.”