A New Left-Back Would Not Necessarily Affect Milner’s Importance In The Liverpool Set-Up
James Milner has been proving his worth ever since arriving at Liverpool for free in 2015, following his contract expiry with Manchester City. The Englishman was expected to play a bit-part role after the manager who signed him, Brendan Rodgers was sacked and replaced by Jurgen Klopp. However, Milner has become a key part of the team over the two seasons under the German.
Last season he mainly operated in the midfield and out on the wings when needed and performed admirably. However, this season he has had to do something that he has never done too much in his playing career, operate as a left-back.
Liverpool began the season with only one left-back in their first-team squad, Alberto Moreno. It is no secret that the Spaniard is a model of inconsistency and uncertainty for the Reds. After his horror show against Sevilla in the Europa League finals last season, he began the current campaign on a similar note, struggling against Arsenal in Liverpool’s 4-3 win over the Gunners on the opening day.
Klopp decided to utilize the experienced Milner as a makeshift option on the left-side of the defence since then and the veteran midfielder hasn’t disappointed. Milner has been a solid presence defensively at the back, while he has also made immense contributions in the attacking third. His accurate crossing and his eye for a pass have been key for Liverpool while going forward for attack.
With the season end approaching and plans for recruitment for the upcoming seasons underway, there could well be a new left-back arriving at Anfield. There have been many left-sided full-backs linked with a move to the Merseyside with Schalke’s Sead Kolasinac, Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon some of the names being targeted.
If it so happens that Liverpool manage to bring in a new left-back in the summer what would that mean for Milner? Will things change for the former Aston Villa and Manchester City man?
The answer would be ‘No’. With involvement in the European competitions almost a certainty, there will be a lot of games that will be played. Milner will certainly continue to feature heavily at least until the new signing is settled and even then, the players will be rotated around regularly with the number of fixtures that they could be playing.
With midfielder Lucas Leiva rumoured to be headed to the exit doors, it may well happen that Milner will be required to deputize in the middle of the park as well.
New signing or not, Milner will continue to be a key component of Liverpool squad and will be a huge part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans as the German goes about rebuilding the Liverpool side into world-beaters again.