Jon Flanagan is already eyeing a regular place in the Liverpool first team despite having only made one Premier League start for Burnley since joining the club on a season-long loan. The England international has joined the Clarets for the 2016-17 campaign but having only recently returned to full fitness has only recently become available to manager Sean Dyche.
The 23-year-old made cameo appearances against Everton and Manchester United, after having played 120 minutes against Accrington Stanley in the English Football League Cup. Flanagan earned his first top flight start in the 3-2 win over Crystal Palace before the international break, and is in line for another outing against West Bromwich Albion on Monday [21 November].
Dyche has been impressed by Flanagan, who has operated at left-back during his brief Burnley appearances. But the Liverpool loanee has grander designs than just representing the mid-table Premier League side and wants to force his way back into Jurgen Klopp's plans upon his return to Anfield.
"I just want to play regular football and get back into the routine I was in two years ago," he told the Mail on Sunday. "I never doubted for one second I'd be back, I'm mentally tough. We'll see where it goes from there, and hopefully get back to Liverpool and a starting place. My ideal season? Burnley to qualify for the Europa League and Liverpool to win the league."
Flanagan was forced into a watching brief when Burnley inflicted upon Liverpool there only defeat of the season, after a 2-0 reverse down Klopp's men at Turf Moor in August. Injury and ineligibility ruled him out on that occasion, and Flanagan admits it was difficult to stay impartial during the win delivered by goals from Sam Vokes and Andre Gray.
"It was strange," he conceded. "Every week I want Liverpool to win – my dad used to take me home and away, my idols were Stevie G, Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher – but this is my club now. Getting the three points against them was a good day."