Will Liverpool's Jose Enrique win his starting spot back?

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Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique believes he can reclaim his spot in the starting lineup this season, after injuries disrupted his 2013-14 campaign.

Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique says he’s not worried by competition for first-team places, after recent speculation linking the club with various additions at his spot.

Signing from Newcastle United in August 2011 for £7 million, Enrique was a regular in the side during his first two seasons at Anfield but struggled with injuries in 2013-14, being restricted to just seven Premier League appearances as the promising Jon Flanagan made the position his own.

The club has also recently been linked with a move for Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand, after previous interest in Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno and new Tottenham Hotspur signing Ben Davies, but Enrique believes he can win back his place in the lineup now he’s returning to full fitness.

"It’s been the worst year of my life I think. It’s been a nightmare for me. Seeing the club do so unbelievably well, you want to be a part of it, so it was very difficult," he told Sky Sports News.

"I know if I am fully fit, though, I’ll be there. I believe in myself a lot and have done my whole life. I’ve been a starter here for a long time now, but in all the other teams that I’ve been I was second-choice before winning the job, so I’m not really worried."

  SeasonAccurate Cross / appsWon Tackle / appsEffective Clearance / appsDuel Won / appsInterception Won / appsWon Contest / appsFouls / appsPassing AccuracyAppsMins
José Enrique 2012-13 0.24 2.10 0.97 4.55 0.90 1.03 0.48 76.69% 29 2,257

Currently in the USA with Liverpool, Enrique has started both games of their pre-season tour against Roma and Olympiacos, respectively, but the 28-year-old has looked rather rusty in his comeback, still needing to impress further to have a chance of contending for a spot in the starting XI.

  SeasonAccurate Cross / appsWon Tackle / appsEffective Clearance / appsDuel Won / appsInterception Won / appsWon Contest / appsFouls / appsPassing AccuracyAppsMins
Jon Flanagan 2013-14 0.09 2.57 3.26 6.17 1.74 0.65 1.09 83.75% 23 1,898
José Enrique 2013-14 0.38 1.00 2.38 2.50 1.13 0.75 0.50 80.37% 8 602

Receiving £75 million from the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, Brendan Rodgers has left no stone unturned in his bid to bolster the squad for the upcoming campaign, spending just under a total of £90 million on Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren and Divock Origi, the latter set to return to Lille on a season-long loan.

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Competition from now-England international Flanagan, who deserves more minutes based on his excellent 2013-14, would prove daunting enough but, With the club gearing up to challenge for both the Premier League and in Europe, even more additions should be expected before the start of the season.

Having narrowly missed out on the title to Manchester City last season, largely due to defensive frailties, the Spaniard could provide Liverpool with some much needed experience on the back-line but, with the battle for places heating up, whether he will be able to regain that starting role is up in the air at this point.

Does Jose Enrique deserve a place in the Liverpool lineup?

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