When Liverpool announced the signing of James Milner on a free transfer from Manchester City in June 2015, some football fans mocked the Reds.
They felt that while Milner was a solid professional who worked hard, he wasn’t the type of game-changing signing that would help Liverpool win trophies.
A steady but unspectacular midfielder, Milner was 29 years old and appeared to be approaching the autumn of his career at the time.
Fast-forward three years, however, and it’s fair to say that Milner has been worth his weight in gold to Liverpool.
Not only has he given 100 per cent every time he’s pulled on the famous red shirt - which was never in doubt - but his performances in multiple positions have been consistently superb.
Milner has started every match for Liverpool so far this season and has played the full 90 minutes in four of the five games.
He completed the full 90 again on Saturday lunchtime as Liverpool kept up their perfect start to the 2018-19 campaign with a deserved 2-1 victory over Tottenham at Wembley.
Lineker's tweet about Milner v Spurs goes viral
And around the time of the full-time whistle, Gary Lineker posted a tweet about the indefatigable midfielder which is quickly going viral.
“I once tweeted that I didn’t really know what @JamesMilner was on the football pitch,” Lineker tweeted. “I do these days, and owe him an apology. He’s a terrific, versatile and intelligent footballer. My bad.”
Respect, Gary. Lots of other football fans ought to hold their hands up and admit the same thing - but they probably won’t.
Milner is all the things that Lineker lists: versatile, intelligent, terrific. He’s far more than a workhorse.
Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise congratulated Lineker for his honest tweet…
And here’s how Liverpool fans have reacted to the Match of the Day host’s confession…
Milner covered 12.90km against Spurs - the most distance of any player on the pitch - created three chances and had 67 touches.
It was a Man of the Match performance from a player who is finally getting the recognition that his performances deserve.
Update: Milner responds
Milner has now responded to Lineker's tweet...
Well played, James.
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