Liverpool's Jon Flanagan tells club media he's targeting first team place after lengthy injury

Flanagan has yet to feature for the first team this season after picking up a knee injury during pre-season.

Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan has been sidelined for the season so far with a knee injury but has spoken to the Liverpool FC magazine about trying to get back to full fitness.

The right-back was became a key figure for the Reds during the business end of last season as the Reds mounted an improbable challenge for the Premier League title - playing on both the left and right flank.

The 22-year-old has spoken of his frustration, but is targeting a place in the first team when he eventually returns to action.

He said: "I've been out for what has felt like a really long time. It's been very frustrating. When the rest of the lads have been travelling to away games, I've been in having treatment or doing rehab work.

"That is one of the downsides of football that people don't see. You're out of routine because you are used to training and playing, being around the squad and having a laugh on a daily basis.

"Once you are injured, your schedule changes completely. You have to rest on different days and work on other areas - it's not nice but it has to be done and will be worth all the effort in the end.

"I've got in the team before and kept my place. Now I need to do that again."

With the Reds currently playing a system that involves playing three defenders in the back line, the obvious place for Flanagan to come into the side would be in the right wing-back role. 

He is likely to face a lot of competition in that role with Lazar Markovic and Emre Can both occupying the role in the Reds' last game - their 1-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the Premier League.

Javier Manquillo is also accustomed to play in the role, as is Glen Johnson, while Jordan Henderson has been filling in on the right flank for a lot of the time Brendan Rodgers has used the system.

Seeing Flanagan back in the first team will be a welcome sight for many Liverpool fans. Especially with the impending departure of Steven Gerrard, the sight of a local boy in the first team will please the supporters, as would a return to form and him signing a new contract.

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