Villarreal ace Denis Suarez has insisted that he would 'always want' Liverpool midfielder James Milner in his side.
Suarez, who previously trained alongside Milner for two years at Manchester City, claims that the England international 'trained better' than any other player.
Milner, of course, joined Liverpool on a free transfer from City last summer and has played a prominent role under Jurgen Klopp's regime recently.
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With six goals and 13 assists in 31 league appearances, it's safe to say that the 30-year-old's importance to the cause shouldn't be underestimated.
One thing is for sure, Suarez, who will come up against his former teammate once again in the Europa League semi-final second-leg this evening rates him very highly indeed.
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Class of Milner
Speaking to the Independent ahead of the contest, he stated: “I don’t know if people rate him that highly in England but I saw him every day for two years and he ran more than anyone else, trained better than anyone else. I’d always want him in my team.”
Suarez is well aware that, despite his side's slender advantage heading into the clash on Merseyside, his team will have to be at their best to progress to the final.
Tie in the balance
The midfielder continued: “When we drew Liverpool, we knew we had a club with a huge history. So, imagine what it feels like to beat such a big, historic club like that in the Europa League semi-final, in the last minute.
“We know there’s still a return leg this Thursday but for us the 1-0 is a very important lead. Liverpool are one of the strongest teams in the tournament. They had just knocked out Borussia Dortmund who were the favourites. Imagine having the chance to, not just reach a European final, but to do it at Anfield.
"Maybe people don’t realise how big this is for us. It’s hugely important because it would be our first final. The game against Liverpool was our way of showing the rest of the world, and the people in England, what we are.”
One thing is for sure, the tie is very much in the balance and could go either way at Anfield. Liverpool, though, have already overcome both Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund on home soil and will once again expect to progress.
Who will qualify for the Europa League final: Liverpool or Dortmund? Have your say below!