James Milner stamped his name among the Premier League’s most accomplished creators with another assist for Liverpool in Saturday’s win over Leicester.
The midfielder played a starring role in the Reds’ second goal when his corner was met by an expertly-directed header from Roberto Firmino.
In doing so, he added to his assist for Sadio Mane in the opening day victory over West Ham to make it two for the campaign.
He now sits level with David Beckham on 80 after making 489 appearances across spells with Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool.
6 – Top six Premier League assisters:
Ryan Giggs 162
Cesc Fabregas 111
Wayne Rooney 103
Frank Lampard 102
Dennis Bergkamp 94
Steven Gerrard 92
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 1, 2018
Milner has evidently carried his outstanding form over the second half of last season into the new campaign, again asserting himself as a difficult figure to dislodge from the starting lineup.
Besides serving as a leading enforcer of Jurgen Klopp’s desired aggression and work ethic, he has meanwhile emerged as a valuable contributor in the final third.
The former England man has retained his influence as a key disruption to opposition defences, glossing his high retrieval of the ball with the vision to bring his front three into play.
It’s been something of an astonishing resurgence for Milner, who had doubts looming over his value to the team prior to last season.
For him to be paving a difficult route into the first team for the likes of Naby Keita and Fabinho could prove a blessing in disguise for Liverpool in the long run.