Jordan Henderson has urged Liverpool to tie Jon Flanagan down to a new contract as soon as possible.
Having not featured in competitive senior action since the final day of the 2013-14 season, Flanagan made his return from a knee injury in the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Exeter City on January 20.
The right-back – whose contract is due to expire in June – is yet to make a Premier League appearance this season, however, as his comeback is managed steadily by the club.
But Henderson believes the 23-year-old is deserving of a new deal for the effort he put in to make his way back into the first-team set-up.
“He’s a huge player for us. It’s huge that it gets sorted out. I don’t think players and people like Flanno grow on trees to be honest,” he said.
“You have people like him and Stevie [Steven Gerrard] and Carra [Jamie Carragher] who have come through the academy. The fans feel as though they are one of them really which they are.
“His whole family supports Liverpool. He has been a Liverpool supporter since he was a kid and he has had a difficult time for the last two years, but what I have seen him do behind the scenes is incredible really.
“He is a huge player for us, a huge player for the club and the fans as well. It is in everyone’s interests for that to be sorted out soon.
“I’ve seen how hard he has been working and the attitude he has had with the injury.
“I was only out for three or four months but that felt long for me and it was difficult for me to handle because I had never experienced that length of time out.
“Every day in here he came in with a smile on his face, did his work and for me you need to be rewarding people like that for what he did.
“Now he’s back and the games he has played it is as if he has never been away. He has been brilliant and in training he’s exactly the same.”