Wales midfielder Joe Allen believes his career has been revitalised by his summer switch to Stoke from Liverpool.
Allen bossed the midfield as Wales began their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with an emphatic 4-0 home victory over Moldova on Monday night.
The 26-year-old crowned his performance with a first international goal, and Allen believes both club and country are set to benefit following his £13million transfer from Liverpool.
“I feel refreshed and really positive about the season ahead,” said Allen.
“I think it had come to the point where I knew I needed to move on. Personally, it was pretty obvious.
“Hopefully I will get much more game time now and I think that is going to be really important for me in my international career as well.
“Any player will tell you regular football makes tonnes of difference to the way you perform and the way you feel out on the football pitch.
“It comes to a certain stage in your career where if it’s not happening then you have to go and seek it out.”
After a four-year stay on Merseyside, Allen believes he is at the right club with Stoke manager Mark Hughes having assembled an impressive-looking squad.
Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony, like Allen a former Swansea player, joined the Potters on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day and further bolster a squad which contains the creative talents of Xherdan Shaqiri, Bojan Krkic and Marko Arnautovic.
“It’s pretty obvious that my type of play would not have suited Stoke years ago,” Allen said.
“But the likes of Shaqiri, Arnautovic, Bojan, (Ibrahim) Afellay and (Giannelli) Imbula, players they have brought in – and others that were already there (Glenn) Whelan, Jonathan (Walters) and (Peter) Crouch – the list went on and on.
“It made it really appealing to me, and was one of the big reasons why I signed there.
“You have seen they have finished ninth three years running and they are not happy to settle for that.
“Now everyone is talking about the impact Bony will have at Stoke, and the boys who played with him at Swansea talk very highly of him.
“So I’m looking forward to getting back up there now and playing alongside him.”
Allen on Liverpool role
Allen will return for Saturday’s Premier League home game against Tottenham as an international goalscorer.
His first Wales goal came in his 32nd appearance and over seven years after making his debut in a friendly against Estonia.
“It wasn’t a bad night’s work,” Allen said. “There was pressure on us to get off to a winning start and get those three points which was important for us.
“But to do it with four goals and in relative comfort in the end is just what we wanted.
“On a personal note to get the goal was a nice bonus as well.
“In the last few years at Liverpool I have played more as a holding player.
“But I feel there are a few types of positions and roles I can do.
“It’s a good string to my bow to be able to do different things for the team.”