Football

James Milner relishing the chance of working with Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool

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James Milner has revealed Brendan Rodgers' aspirations at Anfield was the reason why he moved to Liverpool from Manchester City this summer.

The England international rejected a fresh £165,000-a-week contract at the Citizens and moved to Liverpool on a free transfer on July 1.

Milner rejected extending his time at Manchester City because he wants to play regular football in central midfield, something he could not be guaranteed by Manuel Pellegrini, and is set to fill Steven Gerrard's boots at the Reds, following the 35-year-old's move to Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy.

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The 29-year-old was wanted by a number of Premier League club's including Arsenal, however, Milner admits that Rodgers' role in the transfer was the reason he moved to Liverpool.

"[Rodgers played] a massive role. Obviously the club didn't need much selling, it's a massive, massive club globally and the history is there," the former Leeds United, Aston Villa and Newcastle United player told Liverpoolfc.com "[I spoke] to the manager and [hearing] his plans for the team and myself as well, he knew a lot about me.

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"After that conversation you just feel like you want to go and run through a brick wall for the manager and for the football club.

"He's that sort of character."

Experience

Liverpool's current squad is one that boasts youthful projects including Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Ibe and there is plenty of potential for the side to develop into a strong team who are tightly bonded and know each others strengths in a few years.

However, such a tender aged squad means vulnerability in the present when playing top teams. Liverpool won just one game (vs. Manchester City at Anfield) against those who finished in the top-four last season and proved they were not in a position to compete with the better sides.

Games were lost in the middle of the park during the 2014/15 campaign; Gerrard spent a lot of time out injured and didn't play as much when fit and Jordan Henderson, who's recently been made captain of the club, was often not able to compete against the likes of Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea and Manchester United's Ander Herrara.

However, Milner has indeed been there, done that. He's twice won the Premier League and is a regular England international. At 29, only Martin Skrtel is older at 30 of those who will be within the inner core Rodgers' squad.

His presence will be relished by his new team-mates and Milner is too excited about the prospect of helping the young players develop their game.

"You're a long time retired and when I'm sat there and I've played my last game of football you don't want to look back and have any regrets and think 'I should have given that tiny bit more' or 'I wish I'd have done this'," he added.

"You get one chance. I'm very fortunate, I think this is my 13th pre-season, but time does fly and you've got to enjoy it and learn every day you can.

"I'm getting to that stage in my career as well where, hopefully, I can help the younger guys and people can learn off me as much as I've learned from the players I've played with.

"I've got to keep learning and be the best player I can be and look back at the end of my career and think I couldn't have given any more or be a better player."

Key signing

Milner will be heavily used in the upcoming season and will likely be a key player at Anfield.

He'll join his fellow compatriot, Henderson, in the middle of the park and the two are renowned for their energy and will add plenty to Rodgers' options.

If the Liverpool boss opts to use a 4-3-3 formation, Can, who spent a large proportion of last term playing centre-back, could join Milner and Henderson. Can thrived for Germany during the Under-21's European Championship's last month and would be much more suited to playing a more advanced role. 

Coutinho, could too possibly play in a midfield three, or, part of a diamond with the three afore mentioned if Rodgers employs four in midfield.

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Topics:
Liverpool
Premier League
James Milner
Brendan Rodgers
Football

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