James Milner continues to set the bar incredibly high for Liverpool’s new arrivals in midfield.
The Reds’ vice captain enjoyed another standout afternoon as his side maintained their 100% start to the Premier League season with a 2-1 win over Tottenham.
Jurgen Klopp was again rewarded for his faith in the 32-year-old, who proved an unrelenting nuisance for the hosts at both ends of the field.
Besides thwarting Tottenham’s creative figures, Milner also denied the likes of Harry Winks and Mousa Dembele the time or space to initiate attacks from deep.
With Milner pressing from behind Roberto Firmino, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were rarely afforded the opportunity to build from the back.
Another all-action display amounted to unrivalled running statistics for Milner, not to mention a final-third value that so often gets buried beneath his work rate.
He led all players by covering 12.90km and made 32 passes in the opposition half, according to Sky Sports Statto.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) September 15, 2018
His figures entail valuable contributions as support for his full-backs out-wide and a bridge capable of switching defence into attack.
To be restricting captain Jordan Henderson to a place on the bench and paving such a difficult route to the starting lineup for Fabinho is testament to the form Milner finds himself in.
It isn’t just his energy and work ethic making a difference, but the sense of reassurance he is imposing to prevent catalytic panic or momentary loss of control from his team.
The fact Liverpool signed him on a free transfer can never be reminded enough.