Brendan Rodgers has confirmed his plans to offer Jon Flanagan a new Liverpool contract after stating his belief that the young defender has all the necessary attributes to forge a long and successful career on Merseyside.
The 22-year-old has missed the entire 2014/15 campaign so far after undergoing surgery on the knee he first injured last summer, but made his long-awaited return to full training at Melwood last week.
Tonight's Premier League clash against Swansea City has come a little too soon for the talented full-back, but Rodgers remains hopeful the Anfield academy graduate will soon be back fighting for inclusion in his first-team squad.
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Flanagan's current contract expires at the end of the season, and after suffering a couple of setbacks on his route back to full fitness there had been some doubts about his long-term future at Liverpool.
However, Rodgers has reassured the emerging England international that he remains very much part of his plans moving forward.
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“Hopefully Flanno’s contract will be sorted out,” the Northern Irishman was quoted saying by the Liverpool Echo. “He is working his way back to fitness and when that happens I am sure the contract will get sorted out.
“He is a big part of the future here. He did remarkably well last year and showed he is player who can play for many years at this level.”
The news will be welcomed by the versatile Liverpudlian, who played an important part in Liverpool's domestic title challenge last term.
His performances were even rewarded with a call-up to Roy Hodgson's provisional Three Lions squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil before injury struck, preventing him from any kind of competitive participation so far this term.
Flanagan can now see the light at the end of the tunnel after completing the long road to recovery and confirmed his plans to kick-on again in 2015 by breaking back into the Liverpool side and building on the 26 senior appearances he made for the club last season.
Road to recovery...
"I'm very close – I've been doing light bits of training with the squad," he told LiverpoolFC.com. "As of Friday, I'm back in full training with the squad, so it's good. I'm delighted.
“I'm 100 per cent now and it is exciting times. I'm back in training with the lads and feeling great.
"I can't rush it. I've got to bide my time – I'm obviously not match fit so I've just got to keep going and it will all come together nicely I think."
Where will Flanagan fit in?
During his spell on the Liverpool sidelines, Flanagan also revealed how he's been studying the team's new 3-4-3 formation and the requirements to playing in the new system that has proved so successful for the team over the past few months.
"I've been looking at the formation we have been playing, where I could fit in and what I could do in those situations," he added. "It's working well.
"Formations can change, but I think I could slot into that formation. I'm always looking to progress and be better in my game. New formations are only going to help me."
Liverpool fans: Does Jon Flanagan deserve a new contract? Where do you see the youngster fitting into the current first-team system? Have your say below...
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