Liverpool's youth has been a key element to their success this season; and local lad Jon Flanagan is no exception.
The 21-year-old is naturally a right-back but the opportunities this season have seen him come in at left-back.
He's featured in this position 13 times for the Reds in the Premier League; in which time he secured his first senior goal for his boyhood club. Flanagan has slotted into Brendan Rodgers' side as if he's always been there and has far outperformed any full-back at the club.
Flanagan could thus feature in Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad for the World Cup finals, however he has never played in England's senior squad, having only made six appearances at several levels of the youth set-up. Hodgson has prided himself on taking some risks but is this a bridge too far? The flair and enthusiasm would be a huge asset to England, and also the player's undeniable passion which has shone throughout the season.
With Ashley Cole, Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw all battling for the left back spot, if the Liverpool man was to feature he will most likely be returned to his favoured right side. This would put him ahead of team mate Glen Johnson who has looked a shadow of his former self for most of the season. Also, Spurs' Kyle Walker may not be fit in time for the World Cup after being forced to the sidelines for much of the campaign.
Flanagan joins a growing list of Brazil hopefuls; but all the youngster can do is keep his head down and continue to work hard, but perhaps this World Cup has come too soon for him.
In an unpleasant way, Flanagan may be hoping for an injury to another player to secure his place on the plane; but he will most likely be concentrating on seeing out the campaign with Liverpool and potentially earning himself a Premier League winner's medal and securing a starting spot along the way.
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