Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen "needed to move on" from Liverpool this summer. The 26-year-old Welshman joined the Potters from Liverpool for £13m ($17.3m) in July and Allen has revealed he feels reinvigorated since making the switch.
Allen started just eight league games for Liverpool in 2015-16, but feels "refreshed and positive" after leaving the Anfield club. "I think it had come to the point where I needed to move on," Allen said, according to the BBC.
"Personally, it was pretty obvious. Any player will tell you regular football makes tonnes of difference to the way you perform and the way you feel out on the football pitch."
The former Liverpool midfielder admitted he reached a point where he was no longer satisfied with making cameo appearances. "It comes to a certain stage in your career where if it's not happening then you have to go and seek it out," he said of his Liverpool exit.
"Hopefully I will get much more game time now and I think that is going to be really important for me in my international career as well."
Meanwhile, Allen – who had a year remaining on his Liverpool contract before opting to join the Potters – revealed he has been impressed by the quality of players at the Bet365 Stadium. "It's pretty obvious that my type of play would not have suited Stoke years ago," he said.
"But the likes of Shaqiri, Arnautovic, Bojan, (Ibrahim) Afellay and (Giannelli) Imbula, players they have brought in – and others that were already there (Glenn) Whelan, Jonathan (Walters) and (Peter) Crouch – the list went on and on. It made it really appealing to me, and was one of the big reasons why I signed there."
Indeed, Allen said the future is bright at Stoke, where Mark Hughes has successfully implemented a more cultured style of play since he became the manager in 2013. "You have seen they have finished ninth three years running and they are not happy to settle for that," he said.
"Now everyone is talking about the impact [Wilfried] Bony will have at Stoke, and the boys who played with him at Swansea talk very highly of him. So I'm looking forward to getting back up there now and playing alongside him."