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Allen is Premier quality - Bodde

Joe Allen
Joe Allen has scored his only goal while on loan at Wrexham

Ferrie Bodde says he expects Swansea team-mate Joe Allen to be playing in the Premier League in the near future.

Dutch midfielder Bodde is out for the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury which was seen as a huge blow to Swansea's hopes in the Championship.

But Wales Under-21 international Allen, 18, has stepped into the gap.

"He's going to be a big player and it won't be long before he will be playing in the Premier League," said 26-year-old Bodde.

"I have been following the games very closely on satellite TV and the internet back home in Holland.

"Joe has had some excellent reports and seems to be growing as a player with every game.

"But I'm not surprised. When I first came over from Holland to see Swansea 18 months ago against Blackpool, the gaffer (Roberto Martinez) asked me what I thought after the game.

"I remember saying that Joe Allen was going to be a big player.

"He was only 16 or 17 at the time, but I saw a bit of myself in him.

"He played like an adult that day. He's brave, energetic and has a good pass on him."

Allen made his Football League debut as a substitute on the final day of the 2006/07 season in the 6-3 home defeat to Blackpool.

The Narbeth youngster was tipped to become a future star alongside Cardiff's Aaron Ramsey, who made the switch to Arsenal last summer.

Ferrie Bodde
Ferrie Bodde scored seven goals from midfield this season

But injury hampered Allen's progress and only now has he had his chance after Bodde picked up a knee injury in the 3-2 home defeat by Birmingham in November.

It was in the 2-2 draw with Barnsley and the 2-0 win over Reading in particular where Allen's talent has really shone.

And manager Roberto Martinez knows he has a real star in the making on his hands.

"Joe has had to be patient to get where he is, but he has used the time to develop his game," Martinez told Swansea's match programme.

"His game used to be about short passing, but he has now added the longer pass to his repertoire.

"If you watch him play now, he can switch play a lot better with a longer pass.

"It's something Ferrie is good at and Joe has obviously learnt a lot from watching him and by working hard on the training ground.''

Bodde has spent the last six weeks rehabilitating in his native Holland, but returned to Swansea last week for a progress check and is targeting the Premier League himself with the Swans next season.

Although he is due to be out for the rest of the season, Bodde has not ruled out an early return if Swansea make the play-offs.

"If we reach the play-offs, that adds another three weeks on to the end of the season,'' said Bodde.

"So you never know. Miracles can happen."

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see also
Pratley hammer blow hits Swansea
28 Jan 09 |  Swansea
Swans can make play-offs - Allen
21 Jan 09 |  Swansea


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