One of the mainstays of the Liverpool team that precedes Jurgen Klopp’s reign has limited time on his contract, James Milner.
He has a certain ‘cult hero’ status about him but the question is what happens next?
In the vice-captain, it does appear as though the club are grooming him into becoming a member of staff as he has been pictured several times amongst the coaches when he is injured or unable to play.
That is another issue with the 35-year-old, he has been picking up quite a few injuries in the past few seasons and that has reduced his game time and often when he is needed most.
Versatility is a key part of the Leeds lad’s game, we’ve all become more than accustomed to seeing him in either full-back position and anywhere in the midfield.
Losing him would be huge, not just within the dressing room as a leader but covering so many different positions when called upon would be a massive void within the squad.
He’s now played more games for us than any other team in his career but time is no longer on his side, he turns 36 in January and despite him not looking or playing like someone in their mid-thirties – time is running out.
If the former England international wants to emulate former heroes like Billy Liddell who played until he was 38, no one would put it past him due to the amazing physical condition he has kept himself in, but there won’t be many more deals on the table for him should he want to do that.
Seeing as the club looking to be teaching him to coach, maybe a player-coach deal would work best with the option to play when needed through injury.
It certainly would be an unusual deal but would make the most of his leadership and experience, whilst also lightening the load on youngsters like Neco Williams and Harvey Elliott should they need a rest.
Hopefully this summer doesn’t end the Milner and Liverpool relationship.
There’s no right or wrong answer with this player though, there can’t be too much upset if he stays, or anger if he or the club want to end the deal.
The only solution that perhaps wouldn’t make sense would be a January departure due to the lack of options in his positions, unless it sees better players come into the squad.
Whatever happens though, it seems likely that one of our longest serving players in the team will be leaving in the not too distant future and we owe a lot to him for his tremendous service to our club.