John Aldridge explains why Jon Flanagan is the kind of player Liverpool need

Flanagan has been sidelined for over a year through injury.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has said that defender Jon Flanagan is exactly the kind of player the Reds need in their side.

Flanagan, unfortunately, has been sidelined since the end of the 2013/14 season through a persistent knee injury. There were hopes he could make a return during the second half of last season before he suffered another setback.

The right-back made a breakthrough in April 2011, playing several games towards the end of the season under Kenny Dalglish before establishing himself under Brendan Rodgers both at left and right-back in their unlikely title challenge in 2013/14.

In his Liverpool Echo column, Aldridge wrote: "One player who is rarely mentioned is edging ever closer to a first-team return. And how good will it be to see young Jon Flanagan in a red shirt again?

"This is a lad who has had rotten luck over the past 18 months. He's not kicked a competitive ball since May 2014, when he was among the best full backs in the league.

"He's a great lad, a proper Scouser with a first-class attitude. He's the kind of player you need in any squad, at any club, and the sooner we see him back on that pitch the better."

It would be nice for the Reds to have more cover in the defensive area. Flanagan showed in his tough tackling and game intelligence that he can made a difference to a side, but it is going to be a while before the Reds see him anywhere near his best. 

The mention of him being a local player may not be that much of importance to some, but there has been clearly a disconnect at the lack of Liverpudlian influence that's in the side regularly. There are a couple of players on the fringes in the likes of Jordan Rossiter and Connor Randall but they could with some kind of local edge in the side on a more regular basis. Flanagan would face a challenge getting his place back in the side, but it wouldn't be an impossible task.

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