Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Milner willing to cover at full-back

SoccerNews in English Premier League 31 Jul 2016


Liverpool vice-captain James Milner is ready to step up as a full-back for the club this season, although he said he preferred playing elsewhere.

Jurgen Klopp has been unable to sign a full-back in the off-season, and allowed Brad Smith to leave for Bournemouth.

The German may opt against signing cover for Alberto Moreno, with the versatile Milner open to playing there if needed.

However, Milner said his preference was midfield, and the 30-year-old enjoyed a decent Premier League campaign last season with five goals and 11 assists.

“He’s obviously looked at his squad and what players he has,” the England international said.

“He’s asked if I was willing to cover the full-back positions, basically, if there was a point in the season where there were injuries or like at Man United last season in the Europa League when I played left-back.

“We had a conversation about it and I told him it’s not my favourite position and not one I particularly like playing, but he’s the manager and if he wants me to play there, I’ll play there. The team comes first, always has, always will.”

Milner has returned for Liverpool after England’s poor Euro 2016 campaign, during which he featured for just three minutes.

With Sam Allardyce having replaced Roy Hodgson, the 61-time international said he may have to consider his England future.

“I’ll have to speak to Sam about it. At my age, travelling around and not featuring, is that a good thing for myself and the side?” Milner said.

“For a young player coming in and travelling and gaining experience and going to tournaments is massive.

“I am fortunate enough to have been to four tournaments so for me to have done has not really helped me at all.

“But if a younger guy had come in and maybe done the same job in the summer he would have taken a lot more from it than I would. That is something I need to talk to Sam about.”


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