Is Milner Still a Key Man at Anfield?
James Milner is one of the most experienced players in world football. He may be 37 these days and coming to the end of his illustrious career, but the former England international still has a lot to offer for Liverpool in the coming months.
In June 2022, Milner signed a one-year contract extension at Anfield, which comes to an end this summer. Having made his debut as a 16-year-old way back in 2002, Milner has had quite the career at the top level of the game.
Liverpool have had a tough 2022-23 season, spending the majority of the campaign in mid-table. They could struggle to reach the top four, with the Reds being priced at football odds of 23/10 to secure a UEFA Champions League spot. In the latest Premier League betting market, Arsenal are the favourites to win the title at 5/6, with Liverpool coming in at the eye-opening price of 300/1.
Despite Liverpool’s woes in the Premier League this season, they still have a lot to play for. The Reds are looking to retain the FA Cup, and they are through to the Round of 16 of the Champions League. However, they face Real Madrid, who beat the Reds in last year’s final in Paris.
Milner may be a bit-part player for Liverpool these days, but he is always a solid performer when called upon. The midfielder is a dream for managers, as he can play pretty much anywhere on the pitch. Recently, Jurgen Klopp has utilised him in defence, and Milner has never let the side down.
Milner’s legs are not what they used to be, but his eye for a pass remains as good as ever. Over the years, the midfielder has racked up almost 90 assists in the Premier League, including one this season in a 1-1 home draw with Crystal Palace back in August.
Milner is known for being a leader on the pitch and in the dressing room, and that is exactly what Liverpool need to get out of this sticky spell. He loves a tackle and has a controlled aggressive nature. Liverpool need fighters right now, and Milner is definitely one of them
James Milner back in training 💪🔴 #LFC pic.twitter.com/StQRHS35tB
— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) January 12, 2023
Prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup break, Milner had made almost 20 appearances in all competitions for the Merseysiders this season, which is not bad going for a 37-year-old.
Millie 😁 pic.twitter.com/MuzGczMcOE
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 17, 2023
2023 is shaping up to be a hectic one, as the Premier League plays catchup after the World Cup break. Therefore, squads have become more important than ever. As long as he stays fit, Milner will be needed in the second half of the season for the struggling Reds.
The Yorkshireman played his 300th game for Liverpool in the 2-0 Champions League victory over Rangers in October 2022, and he made his 600th Premier League appearance a month later against Southampton.
Over 200 of those games have been played in the Premier League. Milner also played 94 league matches for Newcastle United from 2004 to 2008 and racked up almost 150 Premier League appearances during his five-year stint at the Etihad Stadium. Since starting out in 2002, Milner has won the Premier League with Manchester City (twice) and Liverpool and lifted the Champions League trophy with the Reds in 2019.
Liverpool’s No. 7 is no doubt coming to the end of his career, but his experience and leadership qualities could be vital for Klopp’s side over the next few months.