The Liverpool XI for Jon Flanagan's last start was very different

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A lot can happen in 625 days, just ask Jon Flanagan.

The last time the 'Scouse Cafu' started a game for his boyhood club, it was in the hope that Manchester City would slip up on the final day of the 2014 season, handing Liverpool the title. Unfortunately for Flanagan, City did not and his run of bad luck has continued ever since, with a serious knee injury keeping him sidelined for more than 18 months.

The 23-year-old returned last night as Liverpool beat Stoke City on penalties to advance to the Capital One Cup final, with manager Jurgen Klopp singling Flanagan out as his "man of the match".


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Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, Klopp will not be able to call upon the majority of the XI from Flanagan's last start for the upcoming final. Only Simon Mignolet, Flanagan and Jordan Henderson started both Tuesday's semi-final and the 2-1 win over Newcastle as Liverpool's fortunes have altered rapidly.

So just what has happened to the eight other members of the starting XI from May 2014?

Glen Johnson

Johnson did feature at Anfield on Tuesday night, just not in the famous red kit. Having been released by Liverpool, the England full-back swapped Anfield for the Britannia last summer, after a frustrating final season under Brendan Rodgers.

Dogged by injuries, Johnson was frequently played out of position at left-back and failed to consistently produce his best form as Liverpool fell to sixth in the league. Though his departure was hardly mourned by the Liverpool fans, Johnson has regained his consistency this season, starting all but one of Stoke's league games under manager Mark Hughes.

Daniel Agger

The 2-1 win over Newcastle was to be Agger's final game for Liverpool. In eight years at Anfield, the Danish defender had cemented himself as the starting centre-back first alongside Jamie Carragher and subsequently Martin Skertel and many fans were disappointed to see him leave.

Admittedly, Agger's performance levels had begun to decline during his final season - he was dropped at times for Mamadou Sakho - however, his move to Brondby in 2014 was still a disappointing loss for Liverpool.

Martin Skrtel

Still at Liverpool but currently sidelined by a hamstring injury, Skrtel remains pivotal at Anfield. The 31-year-old signed a new contract during the summer and has racked up almost 250 Premier League appearances since arriving in 2007.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will hope to have Skrtel available for the Capital One Cup final on February 28.

Joe Allen

Like Skrtel, Allen is still at Anfield and came on to replace Kolo Toure in the 85 minute on Tuesday. The Welshman scored the crucial seventh penalty to fire Liverpool to their first cup final in almost four years.

Since arriving from Swansea in 2012, the Welsh midfielder is yet to consistently nail down a starting spot and the 25-year-old has even been linked with a return to his former club in the summer.

Steven Gerrard

After coming agonisingly close to winning his first Premier League title - his slip against Chelsea has become infamous since - Liverpool legend Gerrard, stayed on for one final season at Anfield. The former captain became frustrated with his reduced playing time - he was surprisingly benched for Liverpool's Champions League fixture away at Real Madrid - as Liverpool failed to reproduce the attacking fluency of the season before.

In July last year, Gerrard announced his decision to join LA Galaxy in America after Liverpool had delayed offering him a new contract, leaving a gaping hole in their midfield.

In 17 seasons in the first team, Gerrard established himself as Liverpool's talisman, with his influence in the 2005 Champions League final widely regarded as one of the greatest individual performances in the competition's illustrious history.

Raheem Sterling

Whereas Gerrard's departure was met with near mourning by the Liverpool fans, Sterling's sparked widespread anger at Anfield. The talented 21-year-old was frustratingly inconsistent during his final season, with his agent obviously vying for a move away from Liverpool.

Despite Sterling's assurances in a BBC interview that he is not a "money-grabbing" individual, last summer the England winger completed a £49 million move to Manchester City.

In his first season at the Etihad, Sterling has failed to build on a promising start and will undoubtedly receive a mixed reaction when he returns to Anfield on March 2.

Daniel Sturridge

The most frustrating absentee from Liverpool's starting XI on Tuesday. Sturridge remains a Liverpool player, however, the striker has started only 17 league games out of 61 since the defeat of Newcastle.

Following 21 goals in the 2013/14, Sturridge looked set to become Liverpool's main star, but persistent injuries have continually hindered his progress. At 26, the England international still has time however, Klopp, is undoubtedly losing patience with him - the German demanded in November that Sturridge learn the difference between "serious pain and what is only pain".

Sturridge returned to training this week, but Liverpool fans would be foolish to expect a consistent run of games from the striker anytime soon.

Luis Suarez

As one of the greatest players in recent Premier League history, Suarez's departure to Barcelona was inevitable.

With his work-rate, strength, tenacity and superb finishing, Suarez was made for the Premier League and was pivotal in leading Rodgers' team to second in the 2014/15 season.

Whereas Liverpool have struggled since his £75 million move to Barcelona, Suarez's career has gone from strength to strength. With 25 goals and 21 assists last season, as part of European football's deadliest forward line, Suarez was crucial in Barcelona winning a historic treble in manager Luis Enrique's first season in charge.

Do you think under Jurgen Klopp Liverpool will at some point challenge for the Premier League? Give us your view in the comment box below!

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