Considered by several pundits and footballing figures to be one of the best midfielders in Serie A, Europe, and world football, Allan operates primarily as a defensive midfielder or as a central midfielder in the mezzala role, and is equally comfortable at playing both in an attacking and defensive midfield role; he is also capable of being deployed in a deeper role as a playmaker. As such, he has also been labelled a box-to-box midfielder in the media. He is also capable of playing on the left or right flank, and has even been deployed as a full-back on occasion. Normally deployed as a holding midfielder in front of the back-line, Allan is known as a dynamic, physically strong, tenacious and energetic right-footed midfielder, with good ball-winning abilities. He also possesses good technique, dribbling skills, pace and good long passing ability, which enables him to start attacking plays after winning back possession. He has been described as a complete and tactically versatile midfielder, who is different from traditional defensive midfielders, due to his reputation for dribbling past defenders and passing the ball through the legs of an opponent, a move known as the nutmeg.