Liverpool as a club and a franchise are always ready to give chances to local players and after the likes of Carragher and Gerrard, the Kop now has a local favorite in wing back Jon Flanagan.
His performance against Manchester City in the league game at Anfield where he gave his everything to stop the likes of Raheem Sterling has naturally caught the eye of many supporters along with the manager Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp in a recent interview admitted that he now rues leaving Jon Flanagan out of the Europa League squad.
The ‘Scouse-Cafu’ as people call him in Liverpool is not going to be a part of the Liverpool squad that will face Manchester United in the Round of 16 of the Europa League as he was omitted by the German manager who has now come out and said that he regrets his decision.
Liverpool were allowed to make three changes to their squad for the knock-out rounds and Jurgen Klopp replaced the likes of Joe Gomez and Danny Ings, both of whom are injured and Adam Bogdan who is now not on Klopp’s radar.
He bought in Joao Carlos Teixeira, Steven Caulker and Danny Ward as like for like replacements and has to omit Flanagan who was just recovering from a lengthy injury.
However, with Martin Skrtel also declared fit, Liverpool now have 5 fit centre backs in Toure, Sakho, Lovre, Caulker and Skrtel but they will surely miss the services of the 23-year old Jon Flanagan.
“Now we have too many centre-halves,” admitted Klopp.
“The day before we put the squad list in we didn’t have any. Now we have too many and you think: ‘My God what have we done?’
The young defender wants to make more contributions to the club this season and is keen in keeping his place in the game against Crystal Palace.
But the manager is wary of asking too much too early from the player who is just back after an 18-month injury lay-off.
“He hasn’t played two games in four days so I am not sure that we should,” Klopp added.
The German also advised Flanagan to talk to the medical staff before making the decision as the manager does not want to put any pressure on the player just a few months after injury.
“We are always in talks with Andy Massey (doctor) and Chris Morgan (physio). If you ask Flanno? (thumbs up). But that’s not the best advice!
“We just have to stay smart. It was brilliant that he was back the other night but at the end there were missed passes, losing challenges, things like this.”
Flanagan was superb with his energy and intensity for the full 90 minutes but the last few minutes saw him lose possession in tight situations and this can be down to lack of mental fitness and lack of playing the full 90 minutes for almost two years.
“We just have to stay smart. It was brilliant that he was back the other night but at the end there were missed passes, losing challenges, things like this.
“He’s not at 100% but I do not expect him to be. How could he be? We will judge the intensity. We look at him and say yes, no or perhaps,” Klopp added.