Former England striker Darren Bent is expecting Liverpool midfielder James Milner to rejoin Leeds when his time at Liverpool comes to an end.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Tottenham and Aston Villa striker said that the 33-year-old would bring his career to a suitable end if he were to return to Elland Road, where he started out in the early 2000s.
Football Insider recently claimed that Milner, who currently earns £120,000 per week, is willing to take a pay cut to return to Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites, but is hopeful of securing a one-year extension to his existing contract at Anfield, which is set to expire next summer.
Bent told Football Insider: “When you’ve got somebody who’s had a decorated career like he has, there’s only one place he can return. He was Leeds’ youngest ever goalscorer, they love him down there.
“He doesn’t need the money, the money’s out of it, he’s won all the trophies – I almost said bar the Champions League but he’s won that, he’s won everything there is to win. It is fitting for him to go back there and play where it all started and finish his career there.
“He might become captain, he’s obviously going to do a job at a very, very high level, what a story that would be. I’m sure Bielsa would welcome him with open arms. That experience, he keeps himself in great nick, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did return there.”
Bent’s view that Milner could take the Leeds captaincy if he goes back to Elland Road is a reasoned one, given that the 33-year-old has often taken on such a role at Liverpool.
He was named the Reds’ vice-captain in August 2015 despite only coming to the club that summer, as per liverpoolfc.com, and in 188 Liverpool appearances, he has skippered the team 63 times (33.5% of games for the Reds).
Milner has also led by example in terms of coming up with crucial goals in pressurised situations. Of his 24 goals for the Reds, 17 have been penalties, including late winners against Swansea in October 2016, Fulham last season and Leicester at the weekend. [via TransferMarkt]
His haul of goals also includes strikes in away draws against fellow ‘big six’ clubs Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal, and while those games all ended 1-1 after Milner had opened the scoring, his interventions still secured valuable points for the Reds. [via TransferMarkt]
The veteran midfielder has made numerous vital contributions for Liverpool in his time at Anfield, and while Bent is justified in saying that he could go back to Leeds as club captain, Milner’s tendency to come up with big moments at appropriate times should prompt the Reds to grant him a contract extension that he’d have earned.
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Liverpool fans, do you want Milner to sign a contract extension at Anfield? Do you see him going back to Leeds in the next couple of years? Have your say in the comments section below!
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