Liverpool have an outstanding crop of young footballers, some currently making waves in the first-team and others spending loan spells elsewhere.
But one of the former – Jon Flanagan – is enjoying a campaign like few others, to such an extent that Reds manager Brendan Rodgers has tipped him to earn an England call-up sooner rather than later.
The right-back has impressed in the absence of Glen Johnson, and has started the last five matches, playing a vital role in some of his side’s most important and impressive results of the season – not least the 4-0 win over Everton and 5-1 victory against then-league leaders Arsenal.
However, Rodgers now has a decision to make, with Glen Johnson returning from a knee injury. Does he stick with the young man who he has tipped for international recognition, or opt for the player whose position in the England team Flanagan will one day be challenging for?
Former Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson believes he has a solution that would potentially suit everyone – except Aly Cissokho.
Writing in the Liverpool Echo, the pundit said, “Jon Flanagan has done really well, but Johnson gives you more. He would be in any first-choice Liverpool team.
“That’s not to say I’d ditch Flanagan. Instead, I’d have him in at left back instead of Aly Cissokho.
“In fairness, Cissokho has done well in the last couple of weeks. But he doesn't give enough to Liverpool when he’s on the ball.”
Flanagan did play six straight matches at left-back earlier in the season, and while it may be a secondary role for him, it is one where he would continue to perform well.
So when Johnson is fully match-fit and Rodgers has a decision to make, it will be interesting to see which of the three full-backs gets the proverbial chop.
image: © Jan S0L0