Liverpool have gotten the very best out of James Milner. Despite turning 30 during his first season with the Reds, he is only 16 appearances away from Liverpool being the side he has played the most games for during his career. Jürgen Klopp has praised James Milner for a decision he made that has made his longevity possible.
Before arriving at Anfield, Milner had a journeyed career around English football. The midfielder had spells at Leeds United, Swindon Town, Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Manchester City before joining Liverpool. During his time at Man City he picked up 2 Premier League titles.
Having played in the Premier League for 17 years, Milner has had to make some crucial adjustments to keep him fit enough to compete at the highest level. The changes have been incredibly effective, over the summer he was once again the fittest player in the squad according to the lactate test that the team endure.
James Milner retired from international football in 2016. The decision has served to elongate this career by not forcing him into excessive amounts of football whilst his body ages. Speaking at his pre-match press conference, broadcast on the club’s official site, Jürgen Klopp praised James Milner for his decision. The gaffer told the press: “the boys not involved on international duty have a week away from Melwood…they have a proper training plan, but not football work, that is the perfect situation for a footballer, so Milly was very smart when he made that decision”.
Milner has been crucial to Liverpool’s success in recent years. The vice captain has been an experienced figure in the dressing room and has played nearly every outfield position for the Reds at some time or another. Without Milner’s professionalism, versatility and exceptional fitness, Liverpool would not have won the Champions League last year.