Garry Monk has praised the quality of Joe Allen's performances for Liverpool as Swansea prepare to come up against their former midfielder in Wednesday's Capital One Cup clash at Anfield.
Wales international Allen followed Brendan Rodgers from the Liberty Stadium to Merseyside during the off-season for a fee believed to have been around the £15million mark.
"He is a top player. Everyone knows his quality as a player, and he is a great lad too," the defender said.
"A few of us have had a bit of banter with him, winding each other up. But it will be great to see him, I am really glad to see he is doing so well."
There were plenty who questioned whether Allen was worth a fee of that size, despite his fine performances for Swansea last season and during the Olympics in the summer.
The 22-year-old has quickly proved his doubters wrong, settling quickly into the Reds midfield with his assuredness in possession perfectly fitting Rodgers' gameplan.
While Allen can expect to get a reasonable reception from the Swansea fans, Rodgers is likely to face some hostility from those disappointed by his decision to leave south Wales, despite the huge career opportunity a move to Liverpool represented.
Monk was Swansea club captain for Rodgers' two seasons at the helm, and he hopes the fans will remember the service the Northern Irishman did the club in getting the Swans over the final hurdle into the Premier League.
"When you look at it, it is the hardest hurdle to make it from the Championship to the Premier League, and then to sustain it," he added.
"We managed to sustain it convincingly during the first season and that has given us the platform to push on into the second season. It is important the fans remember that but we are there to win a game, all that matters is what we do as Swansea City."
- Sports & Recreation
- Brendan Rodgers