Jon Flanagan was not among the players that Jürgen Klopp picked to run about in today's friendly against Huddersfield Town. No, Jon Flanagan was left out of the squad after being told that he could—and perhaps should—consider a season-long loan with Burnley.
That "perhaps should." I use it because I'm thinking of Flanagan's best chance for success at Liverpool. He needs minutes on the pitch every week. Of course, he does. He needs to be getting better, smarter. He's got to play. And a loan move for the season to a newly-promoted Premier League team could be his opportunity to strut his stuff.
Flanagan is 23-years old and will be chomping at the bit to make a name for himself in the Premier League. No question about that. And he'll be dying to work his way into Klopp's team, to ensure his place in Liverpool's future. Nothing would make Jon Flanagan and the Flanagan family and friends society happier than for Jon to play his whole career at Liverpool. This is a guy who is actively working and beautifully close to achieving the dream of getting to do the thing you love with the people you love.
And, now, I told myself I wasn't going to do this, but, I've just gotta say because Kenny, you know, Kenny of Kenny Dalglish fame, Kenny, of all people, gives Flanagan his full Premier League debut. The King hands him the sword. The King stands up in the full sun, huge against the stretched horizon like some kind of Scottish Aslan, and says, "Jon..." and then something fantastic with a big booming sound. What I'm saying is that, emotionally, I need Jon to succeed at Liverpool.
And on that note, Flanagan does appear to have won over Jürgen and company with his promise and hard work. In March, the no-nonsense fullback signed a new three-year contract. So, he's a hope for Klopp right now, and I'm sure the coaching team will want to see what Jon can do when he adds experience to his game. And it's unlikely that he adds much notable experience this season.
After a terribly long injury lay-off and the magnificently magical Nathaniel Clyne magically emerging as Liverpool's right back supreme, Jon Flanagan will find his chances limited this season to cups and games where Clyne is rested.
But the young Liverpool-born-and-bred defender is fit and ready after eighteen months in recovery and on the sidelines. Flanagan has been involved with every preseason training session so far. He's been running and competing, so he should be looking at playing matches. He can have a good season, actually playing somewhere. Develop the rhythm of playing every week. Different opponents every week. Tactical match-ups every week. Maybe taking a little bit of crunch out of those yellow-card-iffy tackles every week.
Might be kind of nice to see him regularly, even if it's in a different shirt for a while. Hey, what if he does great? What if he does great and we get to watch him do great knowing he's ours and that he's definitely coming back home?
Because he definitely would come back home. And we are stress-snacking and believing he's going to be great. And that's that.