Ryan Giggs is backing his “Mr Reliable” to get back to the Premier League.
Joe Allen will be tasked with matching Real Madrid mega-star Luka Modric when he wins his 50th Welsh cap in Croatia this weekend, but will then have to return to playing in the Championship at Stoke City for a second season this winter.
But Giggs believes the 29-year-old is still good enough to get back into the top flight and repeat the form he showed there previously with Swansea City, Liverpool and Stoke.
“Joe has played in the Premier League before and he’s capable of doing so again. Since I’ve taken over, he’s been one of the most reliable players,” said Giggs.
“You just know what you’re going to get, both in training and in games. He wants the ball, he wants to play football the right way and he’s an intelligent player.
“He’ll take the ball anywhere, which is something he did at Swansea in his early days, and he’s a great lad who you know you can rely on. He’s great to have around the place.
“He’s quiet, but he knows his ability. He’s not over confident, he’s not cocky – he just believes in what kind of a player he is and, of course, he could play at a higher level.”
Allen’s midfield battle with Modric, Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitić and Inter-Milan’s Ivan Perišić in Osijek on Saturday will be vital if Wales are to stay on course for qualification in the European Championships.
Having kicked-off their campaign with a Dan James inspired 1-0 home win over Slovakia, they hit the road this week for back-to-back away games.
After taking on last year’s World Cup runners-up, they head to Budapest to tackle a Hungary side that beat the Croatians 2-1 in March.
Giggs has received a timely boost with the news that Tottenham defender Ben Davies will be available after postponing treatment on a long-term groin injury.