This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how bad a deal the club got.
Six years ago, the world seemed to be Jon Flanagan’s oyster. At the age of just 21, he had been a regular feature in a Liverpool team that came agonisingly close to winning the Premier League, with one Merseyside derby performance leading Reds captain Steven Gerrard to describe him as “our star man by a country mile” that day.
His stellar 2013/14 season saw him given a full England debut a few weeks later and he was even on standby for their World Cup squad that year. He was dubbed “the Scouse Cafu” by the Anfield faithful and the legendary Brazil right-back even paid him a visit (as per The Athletic).
However, a serious knee operation wrote him off for all of the following season and he never managed to reclaim a regular place at Liverpool, with loan spells at Bolton and Burnley also yielding little joy. His arrest for assault in December 2017 was another setback to his career, although Gerrard offered him a lifeline at Glasgow Rangers six months later after the defender was released by the Reds.
There was no fairytale revival for Flanagan at Ibrox, though. He made only 16 Premiership appearances in his first season in Scotland, with statistics from their Europa League run showing how his performance levels had dipped since his 2013/14 peak.
In the Light Blues’ 2018/19 European campaign, he posted match averages of 2.3 tackles, two clearances, 0.3 key passes and 0.5 successful dribbles, with a passing success rate of 76.8%. In his standout season at Liverpool, the corresponding match averages were 3.4 tackles, 3.3 clearances, 0.6 key passes and 0.7 successful dribbles, while he had an 83.7% passing accuracy rate. [via WhoScored]
Flanagan’s fortunes didn’t improve in his second season at Ibrox, managing a paltry nine appearances and none in the Europa League proper. Unable to dislodge full-backs Borna Barisic and James Tavernier, the club took the decision to release him along with five other players last month. Tellingly, a number of ‘Gers fans celebrated the news that the 27-year-old was being let go by the club.
Has Jon Flanagan been Steven Gerrard's worst signing at Glasgow Rangers?
The ex-Liverpool defender leaves Ibrox with no goals and only one assist in 39 appearances, while he admitted in a recent interview with The Athletic that he is “worried” about what comes next for him in his career now that he is a free agent. Having failed to revive his career under former team-mate Gerrard in Glasgow, one must wonder how many more shots at redemption Flanagan will get.
‘Gers fans, how big of a letdown did Flanagan prove to be at Ibrox? Comment below with your views!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience