Silva, a product of the Spanish system, is being held up as a perfect example of how technique can overcome other shortcomings - in his case, a lack of size.
"You only have to look at David Silva to see the merits of a technically gifted player, and what an influence he can have," Allen told the Manchester Evening News.
"Yet David is probably the smallest player on the field whenever he plays.
"There is a balance but we are aiming for technical competence first and foremost.
"I went to watch England under-19s recently because our Kieran Kennedy was playing and it was amazing - in the past you expect Germany to walk out and be six feet nine and seven feet wide, but they were a small team and technically very good.
"The emphasis is moving. There has been a realisation that it's about technical competence, and then some of the physical attributes will come."