6 Aug 2016

Done Deal: Liverpool 'confirm' surprise transfer for 'incredible' £25k-a-week international

With Liverpool desperate for cover in both full-back positions, the obvious solution to the problem is to...get rid of two Premier League-quality full-backs (without bringing in replacements) and leave the club desperately short of viable options! It sounds ridiculous, but this is precisely what Jurgen Klopp has sanctioned over the last two weeks, and after Brad Smith's departure, Jon Flanagan is the latest full-back to be dumped on the scrapheap loaned out.

On Saturday, Liverpool posted the following statement:

"Liverpool can confirm that Jon Flanagan has joined Burnley on a season-long loan deal".

Fans can rationalise it all they want, but it's over for Flanagan at Liverpool.

* This loan deal is basically a giant vote of no-confidence. Liverpool are in the midst of a full-back crisis, and if Klopp trusted Flanagan, he'd be in the squad to challenge and/or replace Moreno.

* Clearly, Klopp doesn't think Flanagan is good enough. Why else would he sanction a loan deal when the club is scrambling for full-back cover?

* Flanagan is not a kid; he's 23, and if - at that age - he can't break into a team desperate for full-backs, then there's little chance he'll make the breakthrough in the future.

* As noted many times in the past, Loanees very rarely (if ever) return to the club to become first-team regulars, and Flanagan will have to buck a long-standing historical trend to reverse that reality.

I genuinely believe that Liverpool have been planning to sell Flanagan for months, and the club is using the same strategy applied to Jordon Ibe, i.e. tie the player down to a long-term contract (to ensure a good transfer fee); put him in the shop window (via a loan deal and/or some first-team game time), and then sell for an inflated fee.

Personally, I'm not fussed if Flanagan ultimately leaves Anfield, but farming him out on loan now - when the club is desperate for full-back cover - is rather surprising, and arguably counter-productive.

* Mar 2016: Hailed by Jordon Henderson for his 'incredible' dedication. Reportedly on £25k-a-week


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