James Milner has admitted that he may consider retiring from England duty after Euro 2016.
The Liverpool midfielder has clocked up 57 caps since his international debut, but is currently on the periphery of the team and did not feature in Saturday’s brilliant comeback win over Germany.
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The Mirror quote Milner, 30, as admitting that he might be prepared to step aside for the younger generation if Roy Hodgson – or his successor – don’t see him contributing more post-France.
“It’s a conversation I’ll probably have with the manager at the start of next season,” he said, according to The Mirror. “Hopefully that will be Roy Hodgson because that would mean England will have had a good tournament at the Euros.
“I don’t want to be travelling around the world, not really contributing, and just being a good tourist. I want to contribute and, if he manager says I have a part to play, then great then.
“If not, it would be better for me to step aside and let the younger guys come through. I’ve been in four tournaments, built up a lot of caps and experience, and at the moment I can help the younger guys in the squad.
“But if I am going to be taking on a lesser role than the one I have now, it would probably better for someone else to step up.”
The emergence of Tottenham Hotspur pair Eric Dier and Dele Alli, both of whom were mighty impressive in the 3-2 victory in Berlin, seems to have knocked Milner down Hodgson’s pecking order.
The former Manchester City midfielder is still hopeful of making the Euro 2016 squad, and is desperate for England to make a bigger impression that they have at previous major tournaments.
“If I do go to France in the summer, it will be my fourth tournament and I feel pleased about that,” he is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
“But it would be nice to do well in this one because I don’t feel the tournaments I’ve been involved so far have been particularly successful. You play football to win trophies and it’s been a long time coming for England.
“But the players we have coming through now shows that there are good young English footballers. There is a real sense of excitement in the squad again.”
Milner is likely to get a chance to stake his claim for Euro 2016 selection if Hodgson makes changes for Tuesday’s friendly against Netherlands, who didn’t qualify for the tournament, at Wembley.
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