Why Rangers shouldn’t think twice about sealing a deal for versatile 26-year-old star

Why Rangers should offer Jon Flanagan fresh terms

According to the Daily Record, Rangers star Jon Flanagan has been warned by manager Steven Gerrard that he has to prove his worth if he is to earn himself a new deal at Ibrox. 

The 26-year-old, who joined Rangers on a two-year deal from Liverpool back in the summer of 2018, is set to be out of contract at the end of the ongoing season and as per the report, there has been no indication that the Gers are planning to extend his stay beyond that. 

Having made a total of 30 appearances in all competitions over the course of a decent debut season at Ibrox last term, Flanagan started the ongoing campaign at left-back before a groin injury sidelined him for a while and stalled his progress.

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Jon Flanagan made 51 senior appearances for Liverpool before joining Rangers last summer (Getty Images)

The 26-year-old started a couple of league fixtures for the Gers back in August, including a 6-1 rout of Hibernian, but he is yet to make a single appearance in the Scottish Premiership following his return from injury, with Croatian international Borna Barisic grabbing his opportunities to establish himself as the undisputed first-choice under Gerrard.

Despite making the matchday squads for most of the games in recent weeks, Flanagan has largely found himself relegated to bench duty, failing to clock up a single first-team appearance. 

Indeed, Barisic has been that good following a disappointing debut season at Ibrox, with his pinpoint cross for Alfredo Morelos’ second goal in the 2-2 draw against Feyenoord in the Europa League another reminder of his new-found confidence. 

With right-back James Tavernier also beginning to find his stride after an unexpected slump in form, Flanagan has been forced to watch along from the sidelines for a long time without entering the field of play. 

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Flanagan has been warned by Gerrard that he will need to prove himself to earn a new deal at Rangers (Getty Images)

To that end, the situation looks far from ideal for the 26-year-old when it comes to proving his worth in a bid to earn himself an extended stay at the club beyond next summer.

Despite that, however, the former Liverpool man has made it clear that he will fight to try and win his place back in the team after an injury layoff, insisting that the fans at Ibrox are yet to see the best of him in the famous sky blue jersey. (h/t Daily Record)

Well, it’s definitely going to be easier said than done for Jon Flanagan, who currently finds himself down the pecking order behind two accomplished full-backs, Tavernier and Barisic, on either side of the pitch. However, he is prepared to battle it out for a new deal and that certainly comes as a piece of welcome news to the club faithful.

Jon Flanagan, who made 51 appearances for Liverpool across all competitions over the course of seven seasons at Anfield, has proven himself to be a good signing for Rangers.

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Flanagan has been usurped by Borna Barisic in the pecking order due to an injury layoff (Getty Images)

The 1-cap England international has been an ideal squad player for the manager, with his versatility to play as a full-back on either side of the backline making him a useful asset to the club.

Despite essentially being a right-back by trade, the 26-year-old featured largely on the left flank for Rangers in the previous campaign to cover for Barisic, who struggled to nail down a substantial role in his debut season last term. 

To put things into perspective, Jon Flanagan continues to be a key squad player at Ibrox despite his recent lack of involvement for Rangers, and the Ibrox giants shouldn’t hesitate to offer him a new deal to extend his stay beyond next summer. 

Verdict

With Rangers set for a busy festive schedule starting from December to the turn of the year, Flanagan is likely to get a few chances to prove his worth if Gerrard opts to rotate his squad and give the regular starters a breather. 

The 26-year-old seems wise enough to stay patient and wait for his chances rather than complaining too much about his lack of involvement in the playing eleven, something that speaks volumes of his professionalism and willingness to compete. 

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Credits: Getty Images

That Gerrard hasn’t shown a lot of willingness to rotate his full-backs following the resurgence of Barisic and Tavernier is quite understandable, but Flanagan can rest assured that he will get a chance to start if either of the two players is sidelined with an injury.

The former Liverpool man still has a lot to offer at the age of 26 and Rangers need to keep hold of their existing players if they are to give themselves a chance of ousting Celtic from the domestic throne. 

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With that in mind, allowing Jon Flanagan to depart on a free transfer next summer won’t necessarily be a smart idea for the Gers and they should try to iron out a new deal for the versatile full-back in the coming months. 

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Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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