The departure of Luis Suarez is seen as a blow by most, but Joe Allen believes Liverpool have progressed this season without their former talisman.
Suarez was sensational as the Reds ran Manchester City all the way in the race for the Premier League title last season, with his performances persuading Barcelona to fork out £75million for his signature in the summer. The Uruguayan has yet to set La Liga alight, but he fired a reminder of his talent when he scored both goals as his new side beat the English champions 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.
As for the Anfield club, it took them a while to readjust without a player who scored 31 league goals last term, particularly when his former strike partner Daniel Sturridge was sidelined. However, Brendan Rodgers has had a full complement to choose from in recent weeks, and this has been reflected by a rapid improvement on the pitch.
Liverpool are now unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League matches, of which they have collected a maximum haul of points on seven occasions. Their latest win, 2-0 at top-four Southampton, is further evidence of their progress of late, and Allen believes they are now at the stage where they have finally recovered from the loss of Suarez.
“At the start of the year we talked about how losing Suarez was going to have an affect but now we have overcome that,” he said. “It took us a little bit of time because the injury problems we had were not ideal. We are certainly back up to that level and, if anything, with the different system we play this season we might even have taken a step forward.”
As well as their push for Champions League qualification, the Merseyside club are looking to win their first piece of silverware since Kenny Dalglish led them to League Cup glory back in 2011. The Reds face Besiktas on Thursday afternoon with the aim of qualifying for the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League, and face Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup quarter-finals.