James Milner can be Gerrard's ideal replacement at Liverpool

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James Milner, for a few seasons now, has been Manchester City's unsung hero. He gets on with his job without any fuss and works tirelessly for the team.

Whatever position Milner was played in for Manchester City, from right-back, to right-midfield, even as a centre-forward, he gave his all for the team and is one of England's most underrated players.

Liverpool's bargain

Liverpool, who signed Milner this summer, have got themselves a top player and a consummate professional, and by signing him on a free transfer Reds fans must be very happy with the business Brendan Rodgers has done.


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With Steven Gerrard leaving the club, Liverpool are perhaps currently lacking leaders, however, in Milner they may have a player who can step into the role left by the recently departed talismanic skipper.

Milner has explained that the promise by manager Rodgers that he will be used as a central midfield player was key to his decision to join Liverpool this summer.

James Milner was quoted by BBC Sport as saying: "I want to play football and play more centrally if I can and that's where the manager said he sees me playing," Milner said.

"That's a big thing for me coming to the later stages of my career."

Transitional period

There is no doubt it will be strange around Liverpool football club without former club captain Gerrard being there. Since making his first-team debut in 1998, Gerrard has transformed himself into a club legend, but Liverpool have to now move on.

Milner will wear the iconic number 7 shirt for the Merseyside club, and after four years at City being the utility man, now could well be the time that he finally becomes known as the star man.

A strong buy

Milner will no doubt strengthen Liverpool on the field, as in combining him with Jordan Henderson in midfield the club will have two of the most hardworking Premier League players around. Off the field as well, Milner is an experienced, intelligent man, and will be fantastic for Liverpool to have around the club to give advice to some of the younger players in the squad.

The last time Milner was regularly played in the centre of midfield, he thrived. For Aston Villa in the 2009/10 season, the 29-year-old played an instrumental role in helping the club achieve a record high position in the Premier League with a sixth place finish, whilst also reaching the League Cup final and the semi-final of the FA Cup.

Milner development

Milner finished the season with seven Premier League goals and 12 assists; the best single season individual record in his career. Since then, although he's has clearly aged, he has grown as a footballer.

He has improved as an all rounder and Liverpool could do a lot worse than he when looking for a replacement for Gerrard in that central midfield role. Just approaching 30, Milner still has a few years left in him and due to his hard-working nature Liverpool will be able to get the best out of the England international.

Good work by Rodgers

Liverpool have made some good progress already in the transfer window this summer. They have not only brought in Milner on a free transfer, but they also purchased the highly-rated Brazilian Roberto Firmino, arguably the best right-back in the Premier League in Nathaniel Clyne and the talented Danny Ings from Burnley.

With it looking more and more likely that Raheem Sterling will be moving on from the club, it is now more important than ever for Liverpool that they continue to progress by making more signings, and there's certainly no shortage of supposed targets.

Liverpool fans, do you think Milner can replace Gerrard? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.

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James Milner
Premier League
Steven Gerrard

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