Liverpool kept Joe Allen's shoulder problems quiet for five months, it has been revealed.

The People says Liverpool kept Allen's shoulder injury a secret for five months to stop him being targeted.

The Reds midfielder has been playing in pain since October, but Liverpool decided to keep the problem under wraps. With Allen prepared to suffer for as long as possible, the club did not want opposition ­players aware of the injury and trying to make it worse.

It was announced yesterday he would be undergoing surgery, so ruling him out for the remainder of the season.