Dave Davis believes that James Milner’s future as a Liverpool player is in doubt with a new left-back for next season a priority.
He’s the current captain of the side whilst Jordan Henderson’s out injured. He’s been the first choice left-back all season and notched an impressive seven goals and four assists from that position.
Yet, James Milner has come in for criticism in recent months and if as expected we do sign a new left-back, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the 31-year-old in the long-term.
There has been a clamour for a new left-back for some time now, with Ricardo Rodriguez and Andrew Robertson the latest names linked. Some media outlets even suggested that Robertson will be announced at the beginning of the transfer window.
It’s a combination of many factors such as competition for places, plus Klopp and Reds fans’ lack of faith in Alberto Moreno that have been contributory. In recent months though, Milner’s form has been the overriding one.
The former City man has looked tired at times and there have been games when Klopp has brought him off. Too often though in recent weeks, sides have become used to Milner’s methods. An overlap, followed by a cut back onto the right foot is often blocked or negated by a real lack of aerial threat.
That, combined with Clyne’s lack of quality delivery, has put the spotlight on the full-backs at times. The fact Milner has played higher up the pitch in more attacking roles doesn’t help his case, though.
An impressive first third to the season seems like a lifetime ago and the recent messages have been stated. The retired international has been clear to emphasise that he doesn’t enjoy the position but is willing to do the job for the team. Milner does appear like a character that won’t rock the boat and has been praised in the past by teammates and managers alike for his attitude.
Attitude is important, but quality is what everyone’s desperate for. A quality left back arriving through the doors of Melwood may see the former Leeds man’s position under threat.
Milner likes to play central midfield but with Coutinho now seemingly the eight and Henderson to come back as a six, that could prove difficult. That’s before Emre Can’s recent form, Gini Wijnaldum’s ten assists and an Ox or Keita arrival are considered. Adam Lallana appears nailed on too.
There’s no suggestion that Milner is even considering any options or that Klopp doesn’t want him in the squad. The last time that he played in the middle was the first half of Stoke away and we know how that went.
He is one of the bigger earners though and at 31 years of age, you need to be playing week in, week out. If we do get that quality left-back everyone wants, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to him.