Jurgen Klopp has claimed that Jon Flanagan’s fitness issues have been the reason he’s not featured recently.
The fullback, who signed a contract extension in March, returned to health after an 18 month injury earlier in the year, but hasn’t featured much under the German.
Fans began to ask questions when Klopp selected Connor Randall ahead of the Merseysider in his ‘rotation XI’ teams which beat Stoke and Bournemouth, but Klopp says the decision is purely to protect the player and not tactical.
“Flanno’s situation is not too easy to explain,” Klopp told the Echo.
“He cannot train all the time and when you are out for such a long period you cannot build a base.
“That is all. It is a little bit similar, but a different story, to what I said about Daniel Sturridge.
“If we want to help him we need to work on his physical resistance so he is really ready for more than one game and does not need two or three days recovery. That is not how it should work.
“That is what we will try to do.”
Flanagan’s last appearance was the 3-2 defeat to Southampton and in fairness, he didn’t cover himself in glory – which led supporters to assume he’d just been dropped indefinitely.
Thankfully though, it seems he will be part of Klopp’s plans going forward. His performance against Manchester City in April, where he pocketed returning Raheem Sterling for 45 minutes, proved his worth.
The fact he can play right-back or left-back similarly boosts his value to us. A full pre-season will do Flanno wonders, and we’re looking forward to seeing him more regularly next term.