James Milner is Euro 2016's fifth best player, according to UEFA ranking tool

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James Milner is arguably English football's most underappreciated and underrated player.

Prior to signing for Liverpool last summer, the 30-year-old was utilised as a bit-part player at Manchester City and used more for his versatility than his ability.

One week he would be playing right midfield, the next at full-back.


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Since arriving at Anfield, though, he's been a revelation and proved why he's deserving of a starting berth in his favoured central role.

In his debut season for Liverpool, he recorded an impressive five goals and 11 assists in the Premier League alone, level with David Silva and Riyad Mahrez where the latter statistic is concerned.

And such are his contributions that according to a UEFA rankings tool, per BBC Sport, Milner is statistically and currently the fifth best player amongst those due to compete at Euro 2016 this summer.

The 'Player Barometer' tracks players' form and specific traits linked to their primary position heading into a major tournament.

In Milner's case, as a central midfielder, he would be assessed on his passing accuracy and tackling.

"The barometer runs official player statistics through a specially designed algorithm to create rankings based on player performances," UEFA explained.

"The data considered for each player is specific to the position type.

"For example, tackles and interceptions are considered to be key statistics for defensive midfielders, while successful dribbles and crosses are core stats for wingers."

Unsurprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in second and Antoine Griezmann third.

Where Milner's international teammates are concerned, Dele Alli (15), Harry Kane (23) and Jamie Vardy (28) all feature in the top 30, while Marcus Rashford ranks at 93rd, four places above captain Wayne Rooney.

Danny Drinkwater also earned himself a place in the top 100, placing a respectable 51st - not that it will mean much to him.

Leicester City's midfield maestro was told yesterday that he would not be travelling to France with Roy Hodgson's 23-man England squad, with Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson controversially selected ahead of him.

Football fans reacted furiously to the announcement, with the general consensus being - and rightly so - that Drinkwater played far more games than Wilshere and Henderson last season. 

Let's not forget, he also helped steer Claudio Ranieri's side to Premier League glory.

Where Milner is concerned, the Liverpool ace was handed the No.4 shirt by Hodgson, suggesting a starting berth could be in the offing when England face Russia in their first group game on June 11.

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