Manchester City would be fools to allow themselves to lose James Milner

Published 1 Comments

'Boring James Milner' may be a hit on Twitter but the Manchester City midfielder is anything but in real life. 

His performances this season have finally made the majority of City fans realise just what an asset they have on their hands and how they have taken him for granted in the past. Milner may not have the flair of players such as David Silva, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas but he arguably contributes more to the team than any of those players.

Milner's strengths

Milner has the engine of a racehorse. He broke the record for distance covered in a Premier League game this season when he ran 13.56km against Stoke on Wednesday. But there is far more to his game than just running. 

He is one of the most versatile players in the league having filled in at full back, defensive midfielder, winger and attacking midfield during his career and he is effective in any of those positions. Under Roberto Mancini and now Manuel Pellegrini he has frequently started big games on the wing, as he provides strong support for his full back whilst he has the lung capacity to worry opposition defences with his great crossing ability. 

The perception

Yet Milner is still seen by some as an undesirable. With the billions that the Sheikhs possess, some would like to see Milner step aside so players who may look more appealing, such as Navas for example, can get a fair chance. This may only be a small minority though, as most connected with the Manchester club are desperate for Milner to stay.

Article continues below

He is out of contract in the summer and is weighing up his options before making his next move. Arsenal and Liverpool have supposedly been long time admirers of the 29-year-old and the ex-Newcastle player is aware of just how quickly things can change at his current club. He believes he is only in the first-team at this moment in time due to Nasri and Silva being injured and Yaya Toure being at the African Cup of Nations. 

Pellegrini confirmation

City manager Pellegrini confirmed on Wednesday that everyone at the club wants the Yorkshireman to pen a new deal, but the decision is down to him. He said: "When you are trying to sign a contract you need both parties to agree to it, so that is why it is not so easy to get it signed. But I repeat the most important thing is that the club wants Milner to stay here and he has to decide what he wants to do with his future."

The signs are that Milner could keep City waiting until the end of the season – when he can make a proper assessment of his playing time over the course of the campaign– before making his decision.

The next step

Liverpool could be the perfect next step in Milner's career. Brendan Rodgers treats all his players with respect and allows them to blossom with a sustained run of games in the team even when they are struggling.

In the first two months of the season, Mario Balotelli was constantly picked despite his poor goal-scoring record, albeit that main striker Daniel Sturridge was injured. Milner is not a player who struggles for confidence and if picked constantly he can make the doubters sit up and take notice. 

With Steven Gerrard's imminent departure, Liverpool need someone in the engine room. It would mean yet another change of position for the Yorkshireman but he would take to it like a duck to water; he has before.

 He has good vision, power and strength and would seamlessly assume Gerrard's role. There is of course huge pressure for the person who follows in Gerrard's footsteps but Milner is in arguably in the biggest pressure-cooker in world football at City. They demand three points in every game and more often than not players like Milner get the finger of blame if they don't. 

Other options

Arsenal is another option for the player signed by City from Aston Villa in 2010 for £26 million. The Gunners have a lot in common with City in the way their footballing model is free flowing, but every team needs some grit and this is an area that Arsenal have been heavily criticised for in the last few years. They have lacked genuine steel ever since Patrick Vieira departed these shores in 2005.

Milner could fill that gap which Alex Song plugged on a temporary basis a few seasons ago. With him screening the back-four, players such as Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott could be much more free-roaming and make the north London club into a Premier League force once again.  

If Milner does walk away from City in the summer, there should be a serious scramble for his services. He has a hell of a lot to offer any club in the league and with no transfer fee it may well be one of the bargains of the year. Not that wages are an issue for Milner. He just wants to play regular football. Boring...

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

James Milner
Manchester City

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again