James Milner has been attracting the headlines recently due to his eye-catching displays for Liverpool in central midfield, but at 32-years-old there’s no doubt that he will need replacing in the not too distant future.
If his recent performances are anything to go by then Milner can aptly be described as a fine wine. The birth of boring James Milner as something of a cult concept has become a mere myth throughout spells with both Manchester City and Liverpool, as his exciting displays have been propped up by his laid back approach towards an undesirable social media identity.
He is rapidly becoming one of the most popular figures at Anfield, but the immense work-rate which represents the backbone of his success will inevitably begin to ease off in the coming seasons as age begins to catch up with the versatile talent.
With that being said, Liverpool would be wise to keep a close eye on one of the most promising central midfielders on the planet right now, namely Frenkie de Jong.
Indeed, Guillem Balague, BBC pundit and Spanish football expert, has lavished praise on the recently capped Holland international by stating: “Xavi says De Jong can make a huge contribution towards Barcelona. He’s seen as a beastly talent and he’s a player to keep an eye on.”
It’s early days in de Jong’s career but the huge level of potential he has showcased thus far hints at a glowing future for the Ajax academy product.
With the ability to drift into space all over the pitch before collecting the ball and distributing into dangerous areas, de Jong is a unique elusive talent to be reckoned with, and the fact Xavi has personally singled him out as a talent for the masters of possession-based football to consider tells you all you need to know.
He is certainly not a direct replacement for Milner, far from it in fact, but the quality he would inject into Liverpool’s midfield alongside the current array of excellent players Jurgen Klopp has to chose from would enable the Reds to continue on their upward trajectory in their bid to rival Man City for both domestic and European honours.
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