Joe Allen made his long-awaited return from injury during Stoke’s goalless draw at Coventry City on Boxing Day.
The Welsh midfielder hadn’t appeared since sustaining an Achilles problem during the Potters’ win over Hull City in March – their final game before the Championship was suspended.
But after turning out for Stoke’s Under-23s’ last week, Allen was named in the squad by Michael O’Neill and then replaced Jordan Thompson, who netted the equaliser against Tottenham in midweek, with just under 30 minutes remaining at St Andrew’s.
Despite not being able to help O’Neill’s side claim three points which would have been enough to send them into the top-six, it was a timely boost for the Potters, especially with games coming thick and fast over the festive period.
Quiz: Did these 20 things happen to Stoke City in 2020?
It was a fourth clean sheet on the bounce for Stoke, although three of those have been stalemates, which leaves them seventh in the Championship standings heading into their final match of 2020 against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.
But here, we’ve been looking at how the Potters faithful reacted to Allen’s return on Twitter:
An amazing Christmas present. Finally we get the Welsh Pirlo back 👌🏻 #SCFC 🔴⚪
— Ade Mason © (@ADE__SCFC) December 26, 2020
Great to see Joe back ❤️
— Christopher Daplyn (@ChrisDaplyn) December 26, 2020
The messiah is back xx https://t.co/ciwlGdIGAH
— Thomas Tunstall (@yngdawaydays) December 26, 2020
Welsh Pirlo 🥰 https://t.co/V6Fb12LQsK
— Thomas Brammer (@thomasbrammer96) December 26, 2020
Welcome back joe ❤️ https://t.co/cLfV41ki2k
— annieeeee👭 (@annielouisescfc) December 26, 2020
Return of the king
— Ewan James (@_ewanjames) December 26, 2020
what a christmas present 🤩
— george (@TyreseSZN26) December 26, 2020
You love to see it
— Sam Taylor (@samtaylor200) December 26, 2020
Ohhhhhh he’s magic you knowwwwwwww
weve got the Welsh Pirloooooooooooooooo https://t.co/BMcD2vtjxP
— Dom (@SCFC_dom) December 26, 2020
Welcome back Joe Allen https://t.co/3qupEwBVEY
— Stoke Loud & Proud (@StokeLoudProud) December 26, 2020