Joe Allen has no regrets at swapping Liverpool for Stoke

Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen says the time was right for him to leave Liverpool this summer

Joe Allen says it "wasn't a difficult decision" to leave Liverpool in search of first-team football this summer.

The midfielder, who starred for Wales at Euro 2016, left Anfield soon after the tournament in France to join Stoke, and is now preparing for his debut against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

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Allen spent four years at Liverpool, but insisted he has no regrets as he prepares for a fresh start at the Bet365 Stadium.

"It wasn't a difficult decision to move and I'm not looking back with any regrets," he told Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday. "I'm excited about the future in my career. At 26, the best years are still in front of me and naturally I'm looking forward to them.

Joe Allen and Nani tangle
Image: Joe Allen in action for Wales at Euro 2016

"I look back and I've got fond memories, it was a huge privilege to play for a club like Liverpool but the timing was right for me to move on. 

"I was hoping this opportunity [to join Stoke] would come up in the summer, and thankfully it's all worked out well. I'm looking forward to the new chapter in my career."

Allen also admitted that he had hoped his style of play would help him to become a regular under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

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"When a new manager comes in, you're hoping you can impress and get in the team," he said. "I thought that his style would suit me, but it wasn't quite to be. In all fairness, the competition in midfield was tough all season so there's not too many complaints on my part. 

"I don't want to be sat twiddling my thumbs on the bench, and I wanted to make sure if I could change it I would."

Stoke travel to newly-promoted Middlesbrough in their opening game of the 2016/17 season on Saturday, and Allen is relishing the prospect of the new campaign at the Potters.

Joe Allen in action for Liverpool at Southampton
Image: Allen says he has no regrets at leaving Liverpool

"It's been a bit of a whirlwind and the start of the season has come around really quickly, which is always good news. I can't wait to get up and running now in a Stoke shirt," he said.

"I could see the quality of players they already had and the types they were also identifying to try and bring in, and I was really looking forward to getting here and linking up with those players. I think this is a team that's capable of doing really good things."

Watch the full interview with Joe Allen - and hear from a host of other Premier League names - on Soccer Saturday from midday on Sky Sports News HQ.

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