Tuesday, 28th January, 2014

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise on Jon Flanagan ahead of his side’s Merseyside derby tonight.

The 21-year-old, who was sidelined with an injury, returned to action as a second half substitute in his side’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth in the FA Cup at the weekend.

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It was the youngster’s eighth appearance in all competitions for the Reds this term since starting a Premier League fixture against Arsenal on 2nd November.

And Rodgers feels Flanagan is a much more developed player now and that the starlet has the confidence and belief from being part of the Liverpool squad.


The manager further expressed his delight for the England Under-21 international being available for the match against Everton, but the former Swansea City boss explained that he is yet to decide about the defender’s involvement in the Merseyside derby.

"We're seeing a different young player from when Jon came into the team", Rodgers told his club’s official site.

"He obviously played against Arsenal, but then he came in to start against Everton. He had a run of performances then where he was outstanding – and we saw him grow and develop as a player with each performance. It was unfortunate he came out of the team injured.

"I now see a young player around the training ground that looks full of confidence and has got the belief now that he belongs in the squad. It's a wonderful testament to his character.

"His enthusiasm for football is brilliant. He's a very good footballer, a clever defender, and just having him back in the training group has shown us what we've missed in those few weeks since he's been out.

"He had a little spell back in at the weekend and in that period, he was in the box up to about four times, so it shows that real attacking intent that he has.

"It's great to have him back and available, and we'll decide whether he plays or not."

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