James Milner could be Klopp’s most important player this season

After a typical captain’s performance by James Milner in last night’s 3-0 win over Leicester City. How important will Milner prove to be in Liverpool’s bid to win back to back titles?

The 34-year old started the night playing at right-back in place of the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold. However, the hamstring injury to Naby Keita in the second half saw Milner move into his more natural central midfield role.

Before kick-off, his lack of pace when going up against Harvey Barnes and James Justin was a concern for many fans. However, the makeshift defender did not look out of place, helping his side go into half-time with a 2-0 lead.

Once the full-time whistle had gone, the praise for Milner started to gain momentum, with fans taking to social media.

Since the minute Jurgen Klopp has walked through the door, Milner has been someone Klopp has repeatedly called upon.

During the 2016/27 season, Milner played the whole season at left-back and still contributed seven goals and three assists. The following season he moved back into a midfield that saw Liverpool reach the 2018/29 Champions League final.

Impressively, during that campaign, Milner set the record for the most assists in a campaign setting his teammates up nine times.

Milner was one of Liverpool’s top performers as his side reached the 19/19 Champions League final. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY EVENING STANDARD

However, in the last two seasons, the vice-captain’s starts have decreased with him now playing a rotation role. But his commitment to the club has not changed as he said after last night’s game.

He added: “I know I won’t start every game but whenever and wherever I am asked to play I will.”

That is the attitude that Klopp will need from every player in his squad going forward. That demand from Klopp is why I believe that James Milner will be Klopp’s most important player this season.

Will we see the best of James Milner this season?

It would naïve of anyone associated with Liverpool to think that the injury crisis at the club is behind us. As the season goes on, the games will come thick and fast with the club still participating in three competitions.

The fixture pileup, especially over the Christmas period, will take its toll on an already depleted squad. We have seen Milner play left-back, midfield and now right-back during his time at Anfield.  

Milner’s influence on and off the pitch can not be underestimated this season. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY OFF THE PITCH.

His engine and tireless running will be key to this Liverpool side who will have their eyes on a seventh European cup and a 20th league title.

However, Milner’s mentality may be his biggest contribution to this squad this season. During last season and the title race of 2018/19, Milner continuously played down the idea of Liverpool winning the league stating that the season was not over. His presence on the training ground and the changing room especially with the new recruits and the likes of Curtis Jones could be vital to what this team will achieve this season.

He is already being talked about by Liverpool fans as our greatest ever free signing, but James Milner still has more to offer this club.

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