Garth Crooks explains how ‘giant’ Red justified Liverpool holding on to him ‘when they didn’t really have to’

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Garth Crooks has lauded James Milner’s performance for Liverpool in their 3-0 victory over Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace outfit at the weekend.

The veteran midfielder, with the help of Mo Salah, helped keep dangerman Wilfried Zaha quiet over the course of the contest, whilst filing out in the right-back position.

“As a Liverpool player, James Milner has been a giant,” the BBC Sport pundit wrote in his weekly column.

“Not only was he instrumental in seeing Jurgen Klopp’s safe transition into Liverpool Football Club as his captain, but Klopp is now repaying the dedication and service he has shown to him and the club by retaining his services when they didn’t really have to.

“Against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, we all saw why.”

The Merseysiders’ latest victory saw them climb to join-top of the Premier League table, with rivals Chelsea matching the side’s scoreline against Tottenham yesterday.

READ MORE: Pundit finds it ‘really strange’ that Liverpool striker didn’t demand Anfield exit

Bizarrely, the former Spurs forward placed the 35-year-old in the midfield section of his team of the week, despite the player covering for Trent-Alexander Arnold in the fullback spot – a mishap we can overlook in light of the praise provided.

Having provided a brief but somewhat effective cameo coming on in the latter stages of our meeting with AC Milan in the Champions League group stage, the Englishman added to his list of contributions in a Red shirt.

Since signing on a free transfer from Manchester City in 2015, Milner has proved to be an extremely reliable, not to mention versatile, option for Jurgen Klopp over the years, making a case to at least be considered one of Liverpool’s greatest ever free signings.

Owen’s criticism of Keita after midfielder’s Palace cameo has failed to consider role Klopp asked him to perform at start of season

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