Swansea City: Ashley Williams sure Liverpool's Joe Allen will get a good reception
ASHLEY Williams is looking forward to welcoming a player Swansea City dubbed “the £20 million man” back to the Liberty.
Joe Allen returns to SA1 with Liverpool on Sunday, having moved to Merseyside in a big-money deal in the summer.
Allen followed Brendan Rodgers through the exit door and has thrived at Anfield since his £15 million switch.
But Williams never had any doubts that his Wales international colleague could cut it with the big boys.
“No-one was saying ‘wow, how did he get that move?’ because he’s a top-quality player,” said the Swansea centre-back.
“Obviously the gaffer had seen him up close and knew how good he was so decided he was going to take him.
“The boys were happy for him.
“We used to call him the £20 million man anyway. I don’t know who started it but we used to call him it all the time.
“It was a joke at first but he wasn’t that far off in the end.
“We knew he was going to be a top player in the Premier League for years to come.”
Allen returns to his former stomping ground just weeks after first facing Swansea.
He was one of only a handful of Liverpool regulars that started the Capital One Cup clash last month as Rodgers shuffled his pack.
Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez came off the bench but couldn’t prevent a 3-1 defeat.
Liverpool will be fully loaded this weekend and arrive an improving side.
They won 3-0 against Wigan last time out and are unbeaten in seven Premier League games.
“Joe will be looking forward to coming back and playing against us. He got a good reception from the Swans fans at Anfield and I am sure he will again,” said Williams.
“He’s moved on, we have done the same and that’s that.
“He’s a great lad, everyone got on well with him so we were all pleased to see him get the move.”
Swansea also go into the match in confident mood after last Saturday’s win at Newcastle.
Ki Sung-Yueng may return after pulling his hamstring at Southampton 12 days ago.
Kyle Bartley is back in full training after recovering from a thigh injury, though is unlikely to be involved against the Reds.
But there is bad news regarding young defender Darnel Situ, who has been ruled out for the season.
The 20-year-old ruptured his Achilles in an under-21 match against Cardiff last week.
“The big games keep coming but we feel we belong in the Premier League now,” said Williams. “We got a draw against Chelsea and have gone to Newcastle and had a win.
“Liverpool will be looking to win the game and they’ve got a lot of quality in the side.
“They are Liverpool at the end of the day, they have lots of pressure to win every game and the gaffer will want to win the game for obvious reasons.
“We beat them the other day and we are at home, so we will be going for the win.”