Profit Players: James Milner

Profit Players: James Milner

Liverpool supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their side suffer a third Champions League defeat of the season on Wednesday night.

Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their encounter with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-German sat second in Group C having won two and lost two of their opening four group games, including a 3-2 success over Thomas Tuchel’s side in the first round of matches back in September. Yet the French heavyweights avenged that defeat with a 2-1 success at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, with goals from Juan Bernat and Neymar inspiring the hosts to a much-needed three points in their quest to reach the last-16.

Thus, there have been many disappointed Liverpudlians up and down the country in recent times, although several are hoping for improvement from their side as the season wears on given the shrewd business conducted by manager Klopp during the summer.

In fact, the Liverpool boss and the club’s hierarchy were praised for their efforts during the close season, as was former boss Brendan Rodgers back in 2015 in luring James Milner to the club on a free transfer.

And given just how integral he has become under Klopp, both as a central midfielder recently and indeed a left back in seasons gone by, the current Reds chief has his predecessor to thank for pulling off a transfer masterstroke.

Ultimately, 32-year-old Milner headed into the summer window of 2015 without a club following the expiration of his contract at Manchester City, only for Rodgers to make the bold call to lure the Englishman to Anfield as his side sought to build upon their relatively disappointing sixth place Premier League finish in the 2014/15 campaign.

And while Rodgers only lasted until October that season, Klopp continued to utilise the former England international to great effect as he made 28 Premier League appearances that season, finishing the campaign with 14 assists to his name in all competitions to underline his growing influence.

And while most of those came from a midfield role, the season after exemplified his importance to Klopp given he filled in at left back for much of it following the horror start to the season from Alberto Moreno – Milner, a midfielder by trade, completely outclassed the Spaniard.

And just when it looked like his days as a central midfielder were behind him, the 32-year-old shone in that role last season to help Klopp’s side reach the Champions League final as well as secure a second successive top four finish in the Premier League – he was superb whenever called upon by the Reds boss.

Add in appearances in all 13 of their league games this time round as well, and the midfielder continues to play a crucial role in Klopp’s squad – not many would have foreseen his significance to Liverpool when he first made the move back in 2015.

As such, while Rodgers didn’t have long with his new signing following his arrival, Klopp certainly has the Northern Irishman to thank for pulling off a masterstroke.

Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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