Wales midfielder Joe Allen admits he has been revitalised by his summer switch from Liverpool to Stoke City.
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.”
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 added. “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.”