Former Liverpool forward John Aldridge has praised Joe Allen following his impressive performance for the Anfield side against champions Manchester City during the Reds' 2-1 win on Sunday.
The Welsh international midfielder played a pivotal role alongside Jordan Henderson at the heart of Liverpool's midfield, which was one of the main reasons for the Merseyside club's victory over the Premier League champions.
Allen has been a squad player since his arrival from Swansea City in 2012, but has played an important role for the team when called upon. Aldridge was highly impressed with the "shift" put in by the midfielder, despite him playing the entire match against Besiktas in Turkey on Thursday.
He believes that his performance against the Etihad Stadium outfit was Allen's best in a Liverpool shirt. The Anfield favourite also praised his midfield partner Henderson, who scored the opening goal and played an important role alongside the Welshman to ensure the Reds kept their hope for a top-four finish alive.
"Joe Allen epitomised everything that was good about Liverpool FC in the richly deserved victory over Manchester City. That was the Welshman's best performance for the club and I was delighted for him," Aldridge wrote in the Liverpool ECHO.
"The fact that he put in that kind of shift having played every minute in Istanbul against Besiktas made it all the more impressive."
"Allen and Jordan Henderson were real powerhouses in midfield. They didn't allow Yaya Toure to run the game like he can. Their energy levels were amazing - Allen and Henderson must be the fittest lads at the club," the former Real Sociedad striker added.
Aldridge hopes that the former Swansea star can kick on and become a regular in the Liverpool midfield, and believes that Allen stepped up at the right time and made sure the team did not miss injured players Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva.
"Allen takes a lot of stick at times but he showed what he's all about. He was tigerish the way he won every battle and he didn't give the ball away. It was great to see him expressing himself," the former Republic of Ireland striker explained.
"In the absence of Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva, we needed Allen to step up to the plate and he's done that. He has done well in games for us in the past but none better than Sunday. He was superb and should have got man of the match."
"Injuries have come at the wrong times for Allen, just when he was starting to establish himself over the past couple of years. Hopefully this time he can stay fit and push on," Aldridge concluded.