Allowing Jon Flanagan to join Burnley on a season-long loan was the right decision for the player’s future, Jurgen Klopp has stressed.
The 23-year-old returned from a long-term knee injury to make eight appearances for Liverpool last season, but remained on the periphery with Nathaniel Clyne established at right-back.
Still short of fitness despite returning early for pre-season training this summer, Flanagan was touted with a temporary move elsewhere.
This ended up being with newly promoted Burnley, the Reds’ opponents in Saturday’s Premier League clash, with Sean Dyche welcoming a player with experience of a title challenge in 2013/14.
While Klopp is left short of full-back options for the new campaign, speaking at Melwood on Thursday afternoon the manager reiterated that Flanagan’s move makes “absolute sense.”
“It makes sense for him, it’s not the same but it’s similar to Danny [Ings],” he explained.
“After a long injury you need time, and you have to have the opportunity to play.
“Especially in Flanno’s case I thought it made absolute sense if he had a big opportunity to play.
“It’s all good for both sides.”
Flanagan is unavailable for Saturday’s clash due to the terms of his deal, but would have been unlikely to play either way.
Dyche is taking a patient approach to the defender’s fitness, with Flanagan missing a large portion of pre-season having not travelled with Klopp’s squad for their tour of the US.
Matthew Lowton started at right-back for Burnley‘s campaign opener at home to Swansea City last weekend, while Stephen Ward operated at left-back for the 1-0 defeat.
With key man Ben Mee also able to fill in on the left defensive flank, it remains to be seen whether Flanagan will be a first-choice starter on his return to full fitness.
But he is likely to be given more opportunities at Turf Moor than he would at Anfield.
Having signed a new three-year contract with the Reds in March, Flanagan seemingly remains a part of Klopp’s plans for the long term.
Proving his fitness and his ability on loan with Burnley will go a length to confirming this, but this will unfortunately not start on Saturday.
- READ MORE: Jurgen Klopp explains why Liverpool haven’t signed a left-back, looking for “perfect fit”