Johnson in Rodgers' Plans for Next Season

I picked this photo because when there's a dude with a mask, all bets are off. - Alex Livesey

In spite of some perfectly reasonable theories that Glen Johnson might be plying his trade elsewhere next season, his manager has gone on record as saying he fully expects him to be in Liverpool's squad next year.

Liverpool's improvement under Brendan Rodgers' tenure has been linked to a three pronged strategy for returning the club to the heights that made the red shirt famous. The theory goes that in his first season, Rodgers sought to work on the club's offence by bringing in the delightful Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, and that his second year was marked by vast improvements to the team's back line. Year Three would see — ohgodpleaseyes — the midfield addressed.

At the start of the season, the defensive situation looked sorted. With more defenders than he knew what to do with, Brendan Rodgers' potential selection headaches eventually solved themselves through injury to each and every first choice in all positions at the back. Some of those players still haven't returned from the physio room, but this hasn't stopped chatter around which of these players may or may not still be around on September 1.

Turning thirty this summer, Glen Johnson frequently tops the list of potential departures from Merseyside. He isn't getting younger, he's frequently injured, he's on form as often as he's off form, he has one year left on his contract; the reasons for his finding greener pastures are numerous and varied. Rodgers certainly doesn't see any of these things as problems — or is at the very least willing to overlook them — as he's currently including the defender his in his plans for next season.

"Glen is a player we want to keep," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. "In terms of his contract, I am sure that is something that will be discussed between now and the end of the season. I think Steven Gerrard went down to the last year of his contract last summer before that was sorted.

"I’m sure it’s something the owners will take up when the time is right. At this moment in time I am only really concentrating on the football aspect."

The "no worries, we got this" approach to contract negotiation seems to be Rodgers' modus operandi of late. Whether it's an official club policy to wait until the end of the year, Luis Suarez excluded, or just an informal preference, that Rodgers has openly expressed wanting to retain Johnson's services is a good sign for the defender and his future.

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