Having looked surplus to requirements in the summer, it has been quite the turnaround for Jamie Allen this season, who is now contracted until 2024. It had looked like it wasn’t going to happen for Allen during his first two years at the club, after an injury-hit first season in League One and looking a third-choice player, at best, following the step up to the Championship. Allen’s emergence this season underlines the folly of writing any player off while they remain at a football club.
One of the key reasons that Jamie Allen has been able to turn things around this season has been his deployment in a deeper central midfield role. With Liam Kelly and Josh Eccles injured earlier in the campaign, and following the departure of Matty James, Allen was able to play in his strongest position. While the player’s energy can make him useful further up the pitch in the 3-4-2-1 system, his lack of tight control and decisiveness in the final third meant that he was rarely anything more than a foil for other in players. In a box-to-box midfield role, Allen adds tempo and a presence due to those positive energy levels with and without the ball.
As encouraging as Jamie Allen’s turnaround has been, the move to extend his contract goes some way to showing where the club currently stands. Allen has proven himself to be a functional player at Championship level but he is unlikely to be anything more than that – reflected in the fact that Allen has rarely started more than a few games in a row for Coventry City at this level. If the club is looking to progress at this level, Jamie Allen would be the kind of player to be upgraded upon. Perhaps there is further improvement in Jamie Allen to come, but he appears to be a player with a ceiling analogous to where the club currently sits in the footballing pecking order.