Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has revealed that the development of Joe Allen while the pair were at Swansea City resulted in him comparing the diminutive midfielder to former Barcelona player Pep Guardiola.
Allen was handed his league debut at the age of 17 by Martinez in 2007 after the Spaniard had overseen his development into a first-team player, and the Wigan boss believes that the Welsh international has become a "very different British player".
Martinez said: "I know Joe really well because I gave him his debut. Joe was at Swansea from nine years old and because of his build he always reminded me of Pep Guardiola and that sort of player.
"He dictated the play, wanted the ball, and the season after he played a part in the campaign when we won League One and then in the Championship he played 23 games.
"His development was progressive and he became a very different British player."