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Flanagan Could Receive U21 England Call Up

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Sure, his English teammates may be bound for Brazil, but Jon Flanagan still has a chance for some international action this summer if Gareth Southgate keeps liking what he sees in the young left back.

Best day of his young life.
Best day of his young life.
Paul Gilham

As far as breakout seasons go, Jon Flanagan has been a very happy surprise revelation at left back this season in perma-crocked Jose Enrique's absence. His sustained run of starts in the league under Brendan Rodgers has caught many an eye, not least of which is that of Gareth Southgate, manager of England's U21 squad.

"I went to see Jon and Brendan at Liverpool about a month ago, because I feel he does deserve to be in our squad," Southgate explained. "He’s one we’ll be looking to involve in the summer, if of course he doesn’t force his way into the seniors."

In the unlikely event that Flanagan earns a call-up to the big show in Brazil, the left back would be making his senior team debut at the world's most beloved sporting event. No pressure, kid. More realistic are the odds that Flanagan spends his summer in England, hoping he'll get called up to the U21 squad for their match against Wales in May. Flanagan only has three appearances for the U21s to his name, but in addition to his form, he also has his manager to thank for the sudden attention being paid to him.

"Brendan has talked many times about his belief that young British players can play and I totally agree with him," said Southgate. "I know within our Under-21s there are lads that can use the ball, there’s no question about that.

"So for many, it’s just a case of being given the opportunity and having a manager and a coach that has belief in them. They won’t get it right immediately – but there are lads there that are playing at the top of their game, that are being encouraged to express themselves."

This certainly sounds like a Brendan Rodgers approach to youth development, and it's perhaps unsurprising that so much of England's senior team is made up of Rodgers' players too if this is what England's management look for in a player. For Flanno, it's a step closer to becoming a full international, and he has more than ample examples of what that looks like amongst his own colleagues.