Jurgen Klopp has explained that he’s delighted by the news that James Milner has signed a one-year contract extension at Liverpool.
The 36-year-old veteran midfielder was out of contract this summer but will now remain on Merseyside in an attempt to help the side pick up more silverware next term.
The German boss handed the No. 7 39 appearances (across all competitions) in the season just gone and admitted the club simply ‘couldn’t afford to lose him’.
“I am delighted by this news. It’s important for us – all of us,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“A lot is often made of James’ leadership skills and his influence in the dressing room, and of course that’s correct and justified, but nobody should overlook his quality on the pitch, where he continues to perform to a level that meant we simply couldn’t afford to lose him.
“His professionalism is the benchmark for any athlete and it’s why he sets the tone for this team with his ability and attitude.
“We had the longest campaign possible last season and Millie only got stronger and better and more influential as it went on.
“Typically, the discussions we had around extending his contract were centred on: what kind of contribution do we see him making as a player?
“My answer to him was the same I’ll share with supporters: we don’t limit it. We just want the same from him again, because that’s not possible to replace. He can still do it and we still need it.
“So I’m grateful he answered the call and agreed to give us the extra year of his extraordinary career. More to come.”
Milner really is a role model, not just for his teammates, but for most footballers.
He may be oldest member of the squad, but he’s certainly one of the fittest and clearly believes he has a lot still to offer the Reds.
He’s won every major trophy possible at the club so not many would’ve blamed him for calling it a day, but his determination to continue working hard and performing at one of the biggest clubs in the world is a testament to his character.
He will be aware that spots in the starting XI may be hard to come by next term, but he will be ready when needed to slot into the side and perform to his typical high standards.
We’re delighted we’ll see him again in August, let’s hope he can help the side have yet another successful season.