Liverpool are once again being linked with a move for Manchester City star James Milner, a player who seems to be very popular amongst ex-Reds.
Liverpool have been regularly linked with £15m-rated Milner this year, and according to The Mirror today, the Reds are still interesting in signing the 28-year old, and hope to get him on a free in the summer.
Reds legends Graeme Souness and Gary Gillespie will be happy if the Rodgers brings in Milner. Analysing the England team ahead of the recent victory over Scotland, Souness raved:
“I really like him [Milner]. He’d be one of the first on the team sheet for me — both at Man City and with England. He’s improved greatly in his time at City. Apart from being a workaholic, he’s now added quality to his game”
When asked in October about Liverpool’s alleged interest in Milner, Gillespie enthused:
“He [Milner] is a manager’s dream. He doesn’t upset the apple cart, and you know what you’re going to get. He doesn’t really catch the eye, but he works his socks off, and doesn’t get the rewards he deserves”.
Milner’s current contract expires next summer, which means that he’s free in January to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club, and if Liverpool were interested once, it’s conceivable that Brendan Rodgers may go back in for him during the January transfer window.
Would that be a good idea, though?
Milner is the archetypal British player: full of running; endless stamina; good at tackling, tracking back etc, but short on genuine guile and skill. He is a steady, reliable payer, but his pedestrian brand of huff-and-puff football is definitely not going to take Liverpool to the next level. Milner’s creative stats over the last 4 years:
* 2014-15: 1 goals/7 assists in 25 apps (so far)
* 2013-14: 2 goals/15 assists in 44 apps.
* 2012-13: 4 goals/7 assists in 35 apps.
* 2011-12: 3 goals/5 assists in 37 apps.
* 2010-11: 3 goals/8 assists in 42 apps
* TOTALS: 12 goals/40 assists in 170 apps
* Goal every 13 apps | Assist every 4.5 apps.
Wit the greatest respect, the likes of Milner, Allen, and Lambert, will not win the league for Liverpool. Teams composed of 80%+ Brits in the starting line-up very rarely win the top trophies, and the Reds have more than enough British players in the squad.
The proof is in the pudding: Just look at the club’s results this season – the team is stacked with Brits, but Liverpool bombed out of the Champions League, and are currently languishing in mid-table obscurity.
If Liverpool do sign Milner, though, Coutinho and Lallana will arguably be under most threat. The England midfielder can play left, right, or central, and he’s no real threat to Sterling, Henderson, or Gerrard.
Thankfully, City boss Manuel Pellegrini confirmed this week that Milner is likely to sign a new contract. He told reporters:
“We are talking with James, and I hope he will sign his contract. I repeat, he wants to stay and the club wants to keep him.”