Returning Flanagan set for a big few months in Liverpool career

Without an appearance this season, Jon Flanagan has finally returned to full training and is ready to help Liverpool's Champions League challenge.

Liverpoo's forgotten man Jon Flanagan is back training with the first team, and the young Englishman will be eager to make up for lost time with the Merseyside club bang in form in the hunt for Champions League places.

After so long out, the trick now for Flanagan will be reminding manager Brendan Rodgers that he is a viable option at fullback, preferably earning enough minutes to prove his fitness and quality.

The 22-year-old was one of the defensive stars in Liverpool's spectacular Premier League assault last season, despite operating from an unfavoured left back spot.

The Melwood graduate's tenacity, engine and willingness to get forward ensured he was one of the breakout stars from the 2013-14 campaign and ended with the defender winning an England cap and on standby for the World Cup in Brazil.

Though Flanagan may have thought he had made the step up to the Liverpool first team, inevitably injury reared its ugly head, and fluid on the knee turned into an operation which would go on to keep the youngster out of competitive football for the best part of a year.

Flanagan is understandably delighted to return to the first team squad after that long lay-off, telling the Liverpool website his knee was: "100 per cent now and it is exciting times. I'm back in training with the lads and feeling great."

In his absence Flanagan has seen Alberto Moreno signed as first-choice left-back, and Javier Manquillo arrive on loan at right-back.

Both have had their moments, despite the Atletico Madrid-owned player having failed to feature in recent weeks.

Jose Enrique has also fallen out of favour, with Rodgers moving to a three-at-the-back system that utilises wing-backs instead.

Flanagan's aim will be challenging as first-choice right-wingback, a position that is very much up for grabs with Glen Johnson's contract expiring this summer and Manquillo's Anfield move still just a temporary one.

Though youngster Jordon Ibe has impressed in that department, Flanagan's position in the squad would be in trouble if Rodgers did decide to bring in a big money option to replace Johnson once the transfer window reopens. 

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