Liverpool have enjoyed a glorious period since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp as manager in October 2015, and the German has worked hard to build an exceptional team which has won every trophy available to them over his seven-year reign at Anfield.
Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Alisson Becker are just a few of the players that Klopp signed to turn into world-class superstars on Merseyside, with their contributions leading to Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup triumphs and the club’s first Premier League title in 2020.
However, there are still a few players who impressively made the cut to continue in the manager’s era after taking over from Brendan Rodgers all those years ago, with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and midfielder James Milner remaining very much part of the team and becoming integral in the Reds’ recent success.
Milner in particular was an incredible piece of business for FSG, as the former Manchester City star came to Merseyside on a free transfer in the summer of 2015 after winning two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup in 203 appearances at the Etihad Stadium.
The 36-year-old has become a stalwart and part of the furniture at Anfield, tallying 298 appearances, 26 goals and 46 assists since joining the Reds seven years ago, winning seven trophies in total and offering a goal contribution every 250 minutes in his various roles in the team.
The £150k-per-week stalwart has played in almost every single position on the pitch over his illustrious career, including eight appearances as a centre-forward. He has mainly been found in the left, right and centre of midfield, along with 86 appearances across the two full-back positions.
His reliability, hard work and versatility has never been taken for granted by, Klopp who hailed Milner as “incredibly important” and a “role model” in the team by saying (via This Is Anfield): “Milly is Milly, is incredibly important for us. People talk about the dressing room [influence] and yes, he is really helpful there.
“It’s difficult to be fitter than Milly and he’s a role model. I told him and I can tell the whole world: Nothing we would have achieved in the last few years would have happened without James Milner, if he’s on the pitch or not.”
Is Milner Liverpool’s best ever free transfer?
There is an argument to be made that James Milner is perhaps Liverpool’s best-ever free transfer, and also one of the greatest free transfers in the Premier League era when you consider his contributions and achievements during his time at Anfield.
One thing is for sure – the Reds struck gold seven years ago when signing him from a future title rival without dipping into their transfer kitty.