Friday, August 19, 2022

Liverpool Face Battle From Aston Villa To Retain Midfielder: Should Klopp Extend His Contract?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Fichajes, Aston Villa are closely monitoring the situation of James Milner. The ageing Liverpool midfielder is set to become a free agent in the summer, with the player yet to hold talks over a possible extension at Anfield. His current deal expires at the end of the season, with Steven Gerrard keen on his services next summer.

James Milner’s Success At Liverpool

James Milner joined Liverpool back in 2015, in a free transfer. He was initially brought in by Brendan Rodgers. However, the manager’s departure in October, coupled with the subsequent arrival of Jurgen Klopp led many to believe that his stint at Anfield was going to come to an abrupt end.

However, on the contrary, Milner has earned legendary status at Liverpool and has played a key role in the club’s ascension under Klopp. He has already racked up 275 competitive appearances, using his leadership, experience and versatility to help the team to secure the Champions League and the Premier League trophies.

In addition, Milner’s mentality and the tendency to perform under pressure have been integral in helping Liverpool restore their lost glory under the leadership of Klopp. But it appears his time at Anfield could soon come to an end, with his current deal expiring at the end of the season.

Liverpool (Milner)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 02: James Milner of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on January 02, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
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Should Liverpool Extend His Contract?

Aston Villa’s pursuit of James Milner is hardly surprising as Gerrard looks to add valuable experience and leadership in his new-look Villans side. The Liverpool legend has already brought in quality players like Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne, while he is expected to pursue bigger stars in the summer.

In Milner, though, Gerrard can find himself a utility player, who can provide cover for a variety of positions. However, a potential exit from Anfield might not sit well with Liverpool, who rate the veteran highly and are well aware of his contributions for the Merseyside giants in the past.

At the age of 36, Milner may not play a crucial role for Jurgen Klopp’s first-team anymore. But his leadership and experience remain invaluable for the Reds, while the Englishman can also later take up a coaching role at the club, becoming a part of Klopp’s support staff.

To that end, Liverpool should do everything they can to keep hold of Milner beyond the summer and deny Aston Villa the opportunity to sign one of the most reliable veterans in the Premier League next season.

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