Liverpool to give Jon Flanagan new deal
Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan will be rewarded with a new contract this summer, manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed.
The 21-year-old youth-team graduate has established himself as a first-team regular in recent months with a series of impressive displays in both full-back positions.
It represents a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Flanagan, who went 17 months without a Premier League appearance before being called up for the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Nov. 2.
His current contract runs until the summer of 2015, and Rodgers is keen to extend that deal before it enters its final year.
The manager told the Liverpool Echo: "John will be given a new contract -- no question. Come the summer he's got another year so he will definitely be given a new deal.
"He has been outstanding. It's great when you see a young player develop like that.
"You can see the confidence he has now. He has made himself an important member of the squad."
Flanagan broke into Liverpool's first team in April 2011, but struggled for form the following season, leading to a long spell out of the team.
His troubles were highlighted during the 2012 documentary Being: Liverpool, in which Rodgers publicly reined in Flanagan's attacking instincts with the put-down: "Stay behind the ball. You're not the one bombing on for fun, Cafu."
Yet his renaissance has led to fans calling him the Scouse Cafu, in honour of the former Brazil and AC Milan full-back.
And Rodgers is hoping that Flanagan's improved form might save him from having to spend fortunes in the transfer market on a full-back in the summer.
"If he keeps his focus and keeps working well, he can do that," the manager said.
"He's only very young but his performance levels are so mature. I think the biggest thing for me has been his temperament."