Liverpool full-back Jon Flanagan believes he still has a future at Anfield, after spending the 2016/17 campaign on loan with Burnley.
Flanagan joined the Premier League newcomers at the beginning of August, but has struggled for game time under Sean Dyche so far.
The 24-year-old has made just nine appearances for the Clarets in 2016/17, including five in the Premier League, and is ineligible for Sunday’s trip to take on the Reds at Anfield.
Having signed a new three-year contract with Liverpool last year, Flanagan finds himself in a stable position, though whether he fits into Jurgen Klopp‘s plans is questionable.
However, addressing his summer plans in interview with the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce this week, Flanagan stressed that he sees his future on Merseyside.
“I’ve got a job to do for Burnley until the end of the season but after that I want to go back and prove what I’m all about at Liverpool,” he said.
“One of my greatest strengths is my self-belief. What I’ve done in the past is change people’s opinions of me and force my way into a very good Liverpool team.
“I’ve shown that I can perform at the highest level. I am more than confident of doing the same again.
“I still feel like I’ve got a lot to offer. I am really excited and looking forward to the challenge.”
He could be forced to contend with both Nathaniel Clyne and Trent Alexander-Arnold in his pursuit of a first-team role at right-back under Klopp next season.
Another opportunity may come at left-back, where he was largely utilised during Liverpool’s title-challenging campaign in 2013/14.
With doubts over Alberto Moreno‘s future, Flanagan could come in as backup to James Milner, depending on Klopp’s summer plans.
“[Klopp] knows I want to go back fighting fit and prove myself,” he continued.
“I’ve got a great starting point in order to do that with how good I feel physically.
“There’s a lot of competition but that was the case before when I was playing regularly for Liverpool. I want to get back to that.
“I still believe I’ve got a future at Liverpool. I’m not thinking about moving on. You have to be confident in your own ability and I’m ready for the fight.”
His best chance is likely to come during pre-season, when he will return to join Klopp’s squad for a schedule that will include both domestic friendlies and a tour of the Far East.
This could be a make-or-break period for the Reds academy product, as there are few clear avenues as he aims for a future at his boyhood club.