Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has endorsed the club’s acquisition of James Milner, his would-be successor at Anfield, after the experienced midfielder completed a free transfer from Manchester City.
Milner was the first signing of this post-Gerrard era at Liverpool, with the England international deciding against staying in the Champions League with City to pursue this move to Merseyside. He will earn a reported £150,000-per-week with the Reds.
It would seem likely that Milner will slot into the Liverpool midfield in place of Gerrard, who has left to join MLS side LA Galaxy, and provide the stability and control the club icon was able to offer in his later years.
While it is a deal that may appear underwhelming for some, it is one that has been met gladly by Gerrard, who believes the addition of a player with Milner’s experience could be precisely what Liverpool require.
"He'll bring a vast majority of experience," Gerrard told the official Liverpool website.
"I think it's a very safe signing in the fact that he's won things."
"He's a proven winner - I think he's still hungry. I know he's a very fit boy, very professional and he won't let anyone down.
“I know James very well and he'll be very eager to come and prove to Liverpool fans that he's good enough to be in the XI.
"So that made sense - we got him on a free transfer as well, so really happy with that one."
Milner will complete his move to Liverpool on July 1 following the expiration of his City contract, and will be joined by Danny Ings of Burnley, who also chose Liverpool over a host of others with his deal set to end.
The conduct of Liverpool in the transfer market will be under yet more scrutiny this summer following the apparent failings of last year, and these two deals would seem to be a good start for under pressure Brendan Rodgers.
Liverpool spent poorly following Luis Suarez’s sale to Barcelona but have operated shrewdly to get the deals done for Milner and Ings. Rodgers will be hoping they prove to be successes - he certainly needs them.
Liverpool fans: what do you make of the signing of James Milner? Let us know below!