Joe Allen
Joe Allen is starting to prove himself as a star player for Liverpool.

Joe Allen has insisted that he doesn't pay much attention to comparisons with Xavier 'Xavi' Hernández i Creusor's his price tag of £15m, with the midfielder intent on proving his critics wrong next season.

Allen joined the Reds in 2012 and was touted for big things by Brendan Rodgers, who himself compared the Wales international to the World Cup and multiple La Liga title-winner.

But the 24 year-old, who had a disappointing first season with Liverpool but improved significantly over the most recent campaign, insists he's not interested in talking about comparisons or price tags but rather performances.

When asked if the Xavi comments were intimidating, he told the Telegraph: "For some people it probably is. It is some player to be compared to. I don't take things like that too seriously.

"Some people have maybe used that in a negative way but from my point of view you have to look at it as something that should flatter you. It should inspire you to become as good as someone like that.

"I wouldn't know what people talk about but I certainly felt the performance levels last season were getting back up to what I expect from myself and a level I can perform at. I might not have played as big a part as some of the guys but I was part of a great season. I'm proud of that and things like the price tag are for other people to focus on."

Allen is keen to keep building on his performances in the 2014-15 season as Liverpool aim to better their second position finish.

"You always want to stamp your authority on the team," he explained. "It is a big year personally of course but every year is at a club like this.

"With the team having really good momentum, back in a quality competition like the Champions League, it is up to me to really make my mark and be part of a success story at this club.

"There is massive competition for a place in the side but it is up to me. I have got to put my head down, keep working hard and do everything that I can to make sure I am selected.

"It's not just in midfield, it's throughout, but that is what you want. We are competing at the top end of the table. You want strength in depth, you want quality throughout and that naturally brings out the best in players."

Liverpool have beefed up their midfield over the course of the summer with the club signing Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and Emre Can so far. It will certainly present a great deal of competition for Allen, but his last season shows he's capable of handling the pressure.