Liverpool-owned defender Jon Flanagan has revealed to the Daily Mail that Joey Barton’s advice helped him decide to join Burnley over the summer.
Flanagan, 23, has come up through the ranks at Anfield, and whilst he played an important role in the club’s push for the Premier League title during the 2013/14 season, making 23 appearances, the full back has endured an injury hell over the last two years.
With just eight first-team appearances to his name since the end of the 2013/14 campaign, Flanagan has been on the sidelines for far too long – and manager Jurgen Klopp decided to let him leave on loan over the summer.
Flanagan penned a season-long loan deal with Premier League rivals Burnley, giving manager Sean Dyche another option in his defence, with Flanagan’s versatility to play at right back and left back no doubt key.
So far, Flanagan has only started one Premier League game as Dyche has kept a settled side, but having played 90 minutes against Crystal Palace before the international break, he’ll be hoping to feature again on Monday when the Clarets travel to take on West Brom.
Ahead of that game, Flanagan has spoken to the Daily Mail, and revealed that he spoke to former Liverpool youth ace Joey Barton about making the move to Turf Moor.
Barton spent last season with Burnley, helping them win promotion, before heading to Rangers over the summer in a disastrous deal which has seen Barton released from his contract – and he’s now been offered the chance to train with Burnley again.
Flanagan has revealed that Barton advised him to sign for Burnley, eliminating any lingering doubt he had in his mind about a move to Turf Moor.
Flanagan added that he will speak to Barton again soon, but thinks the midfielder will get through what has been a turbulent season so far, having been suspended by Rangers following a training ground spat with manager Mark Warburton and team-mate Andy Halliday.
“I was on holiday with him so I was able to ask him about Burnley,” said Flanagan. “We spoke again later and it was all good. He said I couldn’t go wrong here. I know Burnley aren’t going to be challenging for the league title, but I’ve come here to play games, get my fitness levels back up and hopefully help keep Burnley in the Premier League. I think my mind was already made up really, but getting that advice pushed me even more towards joining them, and I’m enjoying it.”
“We are meeting up for a coffee in the next week or so. We haven’t gone into detail about what has happened, but he will be OK, he’ll get through it,” he added.