James Milner has been branded by many this season, including Liverpool fans, as an uncreative workhorse.
A player who does the dirty work during matches but struggles to provide quality in the final third when it’s most needed.
This statistic perhaps proves them, and many of us, wrong.
Opta Joe tweeted earlier that only three players in Europe have assisted more goals than Milner this calendar year: Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Koke. The first two are two of the best three players on the planet, while Koke is perhaps the most promising young playmaker in Europe.
But Milner joins the list with nine assists, two of which came last night against Borussia Dortmund. He produced a further two at the weekend against Stoke, but remains unfashionable among the fanbase.
It’s time our vice-captain started getting credit for his end product.
4 – Most assists (all comps) by big five league players in 2016:
Luis Suarez 11
Lionel Messi 10
James Milner 9
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 15, 2016