James Milner may be leaving Liverpool this summer, but that doesn’t strictly mean he’ll never play at Anfield again.
The 37-year-old is departing as a free agent after the expiry of his contract, with a deal reportedly agreed for him to reunite with former Reds teammate Adam Lallana at Brighton (The Guardian).
The veteran midfielder is also chasing down Gareth Barry’s record of 652 Premier League appearances, currently within 34 games of that tally prior to today’s clash away to Southampton.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Milner admitted that he’s focused on trying to surpass his ex-Aston Villa colleague and could be back at Anfield over the next few months in opposition colours.
He said in relation to the Premier League appearance record: “People keep mentioning it so it is in my head and obviously it’s not far off and it would be a nice one to get.
“I could be back in front of the Kop potentially (with another Premier League team) – yes, that’s an option. I am fortunate to have a few options. The drive is still there even though I’m content with what I’ve done. I could always do more.”
Having made 30 top-flight appearances already this season (Transfermarkt) – and potentially a 31st today – Milner stands every chance of breaking Barry’s Premier League record if he’s playing with another club in the division next term.
It won’t come as any surprise to Liverpool fans who’ve witnessed his determination and sheer professionalism at Anfield over the past eight years that the midfielder is eyeing up at least one more campaign in the top tier.
It’d be strange seeing him playing in front of the Kop in a colour other than red – you’ve to go all the way back to March 2015 for the last time he played against us in L4, in a 2-1 defeat for Manchester City – but he’d be cast-iron assured of a glowing welcome from the Merseyside supporters if he were to line out at the venue again.
Whether it’s with Brighton or another club, don’t be surprised to see the evergreen Milner taking to the Anfield turf at least once more in his distinguished career.