James Milner will go down as a legend for Liverpool, with the 37-year-od set to make his final appearance for the club this weekend.
The versatile midfielder has been at Liverpool for all of eight years now, having won every trophy at domestic level as well as the UEFA Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup.
The club’s no.7 had joined from Manchester City in 2015, and has left his mark at the club as one of the most reliable and versatile players in Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
Liverpool have not let Milner go without a heartfelt gift though, to commemorate his time at the club, making a reference to one of his worst habits.
In his final week at Kirkby, Liverpool’s groundstaff had arranged for Milner to take home a penalty spot, having destroyed many of them over his time at the club.
Head groundsman Dave McCulloch and his team wrote: “To James, after eight years of destroying our pen spots! It’s now time you looked after one yourself!
“Best of luck for the future, All the Groundstaff.”
James Milner took a photo of this gift and posted it on Twitter, saying: “What a gift that is! No pressure there then, I better get my scissors and pink ruler back out!”
What a gift that is!No pressure there then, I better get my scissors and pink ruler back out!#practicemakesperfect#practiceannoysgroundstaff pic.twitter.com/CLMChjGg75
— James Milner (@JamesMilner) May 25, 2023
Brighton are said to be favourites to sign the midfield veteran, however a return to boyhood club Leeds United could be an option, given that they can stay in the Premier League.
Regardless of that, Milner will leave Anfield as a great, with manager Jurgen Klopp heaping praise, as he so often does, on the underrated utility player.
“Nothing positive that happened in the last seven and a half years would have happened without James Milner. I think I am the manager he played the most games for, and my English is not good enough to properly express the incredible respect I have for him.”
Milner expectedly looks back on his time on Merseyside in an understated manner, but he said that he got exactly what he wanted from his time with the Reds.
“I’m fortunate now that we’ve managed to achieve what we have, and pretty much what I wanted to achieve when I came here. That doesn’t happen too often, does it?” Milner said.
“I’ve been here for eight years – lucky enough to wear the number seven shirt here – and I don’t suppose it will be seen in the full back positions again!”
Milner also stated: “Let’s face it, the league was the one the fans wanted – it hadn’t been won for a long time and we knew they were desperate for it. To walk away now and know that’s been done and achieved, that’s amazing. And that’s exactly why I wanted to come here and we’ve managed to do that.”
In addition to Milner; Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino will leave Liverpool following their final game of the season, ahead of what needs to be a transformational summer transfer window.
As Liverpool end their season in the Europa League spots, which is the first occurence under Jurgen Klopp, it has become clearer than ever that the club must undergo a significant overhaul to get back to the top.