2 Oct 2015

Shock Return? Rodgers confirms 'fantastic' injury crock will 'play' against Everton 'if he's fit'

Liverpool face Everton this Sunday, and for the first time in years, there's a very real possibility that the Reds will start the game without any Liverpudlians in the starting line-up. Jordan Rossiter is an obvious option to consider, but in his pre-match press conference today, Brendan Rodgers also seemed to suggest that Jon Flanagan is in contention for the game.

When asked about the lack of homegrown talent available for the Everton game, Rodgers told reporters:

"It may well be the first time that we don’t have someone starting in derby who’s from Merseyside. If Jon Flanagan is fit, then he will play in the [Everton] game".

In August, Rodgers claimed that 'fantastic' Flanagan is 'on target to return just before Christmas', but if he's being considered for this Sunday's game, then his recovery is seemingly ahead of schedule.

Flanagan underwent light training with Jordan Henderson this week, but given the fact he's only been back in the country for a under three weeks (after returning from rehab in Qatar), it seems unlikely that he'll be part of Sunday's match-day squad.

If Flanagan returns around Christmas, and manages to stay fit, then it'll have a negative impact on Joe Gomez's chances of playing regular football this season.

With Clyne, Moreno, and Flanagan in the squad, Gomez - who is less effective at wing-back than the aforementioned trio - will fall down the pecking order.

There's always centre-back, but Liverpool are oversubscribed in that area, too. Gomez has already lost his place in the league, and in many ways, it's Javier Manquillo all over again.

Last season, the Spaniard started the season as Liverpool's first-choice right-back, and started 15 of Liverpool's first 19 games. However, as soon as the Reds switched to three at the back, he lost his place, and never regained it.

The same is happening this season. Gomez started Liverpool's first six games, but then lost his place when Rodgers switched to three at the back for Norwich.

I'd personally rather see Gomez in the back three over Emre Can, but Rodgers is obsessed with square pegs in round holes, so that probably won't happen any times soon.

As for Flanagan: He's only on a one year deal, so it's vital that he stays fit. If he picks up another injury on his return, it could be curtains for his Anfield career.

Author: Jaimie K


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