According to latest reports, Liverpool’s James Milner is expected to be fit for their opening Premier League game against Watford giving Jurgen Klopp a tough call in selection ahead of the game. The English midfielder was taken off by the manager in their 2-1 win over Leicester City in Hong Kong but has rejoined the side in training after a pause.
After numerous questions and criticisms, Klopp managed to get in a proper left-back to his side who could bring the much-needed defensive solidity. And Milner, who has done a decent job in deputizing in that role for over a season now, faces uncertainty as to what could be his task next season.
We might see the German gaffer finally hand him a role in his preferred position in the midfield, where he sees massive competition against the likes of Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson. Milner has been a proper central midfielder in the league for much of his career and might even take up the role better than both Can and Wijnaldum for sure.
Following the season ending injury to Henderson last season, Liverpool had to endure a tough time with the duo struggling to adjust in the middle where they even lost some crucial points. The likes of Milner and Henderson could bring the much-needed discipline to the side in executing a smooth transition from defence to attack.
The left-back position should be given to young Andrew Robertson at once. Not only will he need some time to adapt to their uber-attacking style of play but he is also expected to do the job better than the ageing Milner. The Scottish international was one of the rare positives in an otherwise underwhelming Hull City side that lacked attacking intent and defensive coherence.
With the likes of Phillipe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah running parallel to him on the counters, Klopp is expected to bring out the best of him. And even more than his offensive fluidity, Robertson is known for his disciplined defending.
At 178cm, he isn’t definitely a threat from aerial duels and neither does he possess the strong physique of Milner, but his phenomenal dribbling abilities, when released on the counter, could pretty much compensate for it.
Robertson played a role in Liverpool’s 3-0 win against Hertha Berlin on Saturday and Klopp is expected to use him more in the Audi Cup where they face Bayern Munich on Tuesday. So do you think Robertson should start at left-back for Liverpool again Watford, with Milner pushed into midfield?
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