James Milner arrived at Liverpool on a free transfer from Manchester City in 2015. Ever since joining the Reds, the retired England international has been vital to the side – he has provided vital cover all over the pitch and has been a role model for younger players in the squad. If James Milner gets the contract extension he wants, he could be Liverpool’s signing of the season.
Milner’s importance to Jürgen Klopp’s side is multi-faceted. In his first seasons with the Reds he was a regular starter at centre midfield, he became crucial to the installation of the German gaffer’s intensely demanding pressing philosophy. Klopp’s high octane football was no trouble for the former Man City man to adapt to due to his inhuman fitness levels. Despite being 33 years of age, Milner is still the fittest player in the Reds squad.
Although his role has reduced in recent seasons, Milner has remained vice-captain at Liverpool and has been the consummate professional throughout his time on the bench. He has been deployed in a number of positions without fuss and has been a vital paragon of experience to a youthful squad.
In an interview with The Guardian, James Milner has said that he is vying for a contract extension. He told the paper, “My contract with Liverpool is up at the end of the season but hopefully we’ll sort something out. I want to keep going as long as possible at the highest level”.
If Milner gets his wish, it could be Liverpool’s best signing of the season. Although midfield players usually hit a decline around their early thirties, the retired England international seems to be aging like a fine wine. His fitness has meant he has been able to carry on performing at the highest level and he will continue to do so for a few more seasons yet. If Milner sticks around we have versatile cover as well as an experienced head in the dressing room to help blood the youth prospects that Klopp has at his disposal. Steven Gerrard found playing with Gary McAllister vital to his development, Curtis Jones may enjoy the same relationship with James Milner.