English Premiership

Milner: Central midfield is still my best position

2020-05-04 07:40
James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderso
James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino (Getty Images)

Liverpool utility player James Milner concedes his best position is central midfield.

The Reds vice-captain has fulfilled a number of roles throughout his career, not least during his five-year tenure at Anfield.

The 34-year-old explained that the chance to play in central midfield was a motivating factor behind his move from Manchester City at the time, but Liverpool have used Milner at full-back often, including left-back for an entire season.

Milner also featured briefly as a centre-forward for City, while breaking through as a winger for Leeds and Newcastle.

But he still sees central midfield, where he enjoyed perhaps his finest season at Aston Villa in 2009/10, as his "best position".

"When I came through, I was always a winger really," he told Sky Sports.

"I played right or left wing. I played a bit in central midfield and when I was really young a bit up front, but mainly it was on the wing. I broke into the Leeds team on the wing and the first time I moved to the middle was with Aston Villa really.

"I still think [central midfield] is my best position. If you look at the seasons I've had when I’ve played solidly in centre midfield, the first one at Aston Villa, I got into the team of the year, got into the World Cup squad and I think I was PFA Young Player of the Year that year.

"Then the next time I had a solid season was with Liverpool and got quite a few assists over a few years in Europe and in the league.

"In terms of that output, I'd say centre midfield, but you play where you're asked to play, and different teams need different things. You must find a way to fit into certain teams and what the side needs.

"I'm never going to be the star of the team and the team be built around me so I think it's important that as a player you have to adapt into that team and what's required. Sometimes you can be more attacking and other times it's more defensive, covering for someone else. Sometimes it's give the other guy the ball and let him get on with it."

- TEAMtalk media


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