James Milner has proved to be one of this club’s most inspired pieces of business in recent years not only because of his talent on the pitch but also for what an incredible professional he is.
The Liverpool man by no means arrived on Merseyside expecting to go on and become the first choice left-back for an entire season yet it is something he has done without kicking up a fuss.
There is no doubting that he would much rather play in midfield but it is for his commitment to the team and his manager that he is prepared to do whatever is required of him.
Milner himself has opened up on what it has been like to play in the position, hinting at his slight frustration but also why he is happy to do the job.
“When he [Klopp] first asked [if he was prepared to change his role] I thought of my options but I want to play as much as I can – and I want to play for this manager,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I’ve been very frustrated in training, not being in the thick of the action, but I believe in doing things the right way and that means the team comes first. It’s not James Milner FC is it? It’s Liverpool FC.”
“That’s the way I was brought up. When I came through at Leeds they were the standards set by Batty, Matteo, Viduka and Smith. Great professionals.”
It’s my decision. I just hope my manager and team-mates are happy.”
Liverpool’s increasing interest in a number of left-back targets makes it unlikely that Milner will stay in the same position next season, yet the impressive campaign he has had as a full-back means he will remain a reliable option for Jurgen Klopp.
He is a valuable and influential member of the squad regardless of what role he plays. The former Manchester City man poses as the perfect role model for the promising group of youth stars emerging at the club as well as any new arrivals in the summer transfer window.
Milner’s next task is helping Liverpool ensure they secure a place in next season’s Champions League with a win over Middlesbrough on Sunday.