EPL 2016-17: James Milner says he needs to make sure Liverpool don’t buy a left-back
James Milner’s continued presence in the starting line-up as a left-back for Liverpool has led to the player stating that he needs to continue his impressive form so as to discourage the club from buying a left-back. The midfielder recently stated, “It is down to me to make sure they don’t buy a left back.”
Milner started the season ahead of Spaniard, Alberto Moreno as the first choice left-back for Jurgen Klopp and has acclimatised seamlessly in the position. The midfielder has now earned the trust of his coach and in doing so reiterated the need to carry on his form if he wants to play regularly in this exciting Liverpool side.
Speaking to the media, the former Newcastle and Leeds player stated, “He (Klopp) doesn’t owe me anything. I am a Liverpool player, he is the manager, he picks the best team to win and it is my job to make sure that what is best for Liverpool is me.”
Man for all seasons
In a richly travelled career, Milner has enjoyed playing for some of the biggest clubs in English football. Starting his career with Leeds United, he moved onto the likes of Newcastle and Aston Villa.
His stupendous form led to a move to Manchester City, where his versatility was appreciated by teammates and coaches alike. However, that didn’t result in a regular starting place and the midfielder is well aware of it. Instead, he believes that as a player it is his duty to earn the coach’s trust when he recently stated, “Full-back is a position which changes massively depending on who the manager is.”
The midfielder has been a key cog in the Liverpool machine and he attributes his success in the role of the left-back to the system adopted by Klopp. In fact for a player who has played across the pitch in a variety of positions, it has been a challenge as he stated, “I would find it harder playing left back for another manager in another system because Jurgen likes his full backs to play, he wants his teams to be fluid.”
Nevertheless, when it comes to the attacking side of the game, the 30-year-old has been more than willing to join the trio of Mane, Coutinho and Firminho. Liverpool earned their second clean-sheet of the season over the weekend and Milner is well aware of the need for defensive solidity in order to make Liverpool a more cohesive threat.
Joe Gomez, the other challenger for the full back position recently returned from injury and over the weeks will surely challenge Milner for a starting place. Klopp has shown faith in the existing players and the returning Gomez will only hope that the German grants him a chance.