“Outstanding”, was Jurgen Klopp’s verdict on James Milner’s performance against Newcastle United yesterday, as a rare start for the 36-year-old played a big part in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over the Magpies.
The midfielder put in a firm, but fair tackle on Fabian Schar, which led to the Red’s winning goal, scored in superb fashion by Naby Keita. Whilst also sticking his head bravely in front of a Shelvey freekick to make sure that lead stayed put.
This is one of the reasons why Klopp wants the Englishman to stay, not only is he a leader off the pitch but the veteran always steps up when called upon at crucial times in the season.
Milner’s contract expires in June and it remains to be seen whether the club will renew his contract.
According to Liverpool journalist Neil Jones, there have been initial talks between the club and Milner’s representative, Matthew Buck, and there are doubts on both sides at present.
Jurgen Klopp wants Milner to stay at Anfield next season and has made that point to both the player and Julian Ward, the incoming sporting director.
Milner has played for Liverpool 285 games since joining the club for free in 2015 and the 36-year-old has seen his role within the squad evolve over the years, from a solid midfield option to taking on more of a leadership role at the club at present.
The Englishman is a popular figure within the Reds dressing room and it can be said with confidence that everyone would love to see him stay.
Whether Milner stays at Anfield is unknown but for what it is worth, Jones states that the smart money is on an agreement being reached over a one-year extension.