City have launched an ambitious and probably pleasing bid for the services of England midfielder James Milner. To their fans it may make sense but where exactly will the midfielder play in the City midfield. The riches of City have enabled them to bring together a squad of several top class Premier League players and then several good players.
I would cite a difference in for example Craig Bellamy who is a good player but then in comparison to Carlos Tevez, is the weaker of the two with Tevez clearly on top. The same could be said for Wayne Bridge who is a good Premier League full back but there are many around who are much better.
What we have to remember is that James Milner has come to prominence filling the hole left by Gareth Barry. As Aston Villa never replaced Barry with a senior midfielder and decided to stick with what they had. Milner as a winger was very ordinary was not hitting any headlines.
Yet when he switched into the central midfield role his performances became the launch pad to Villa challenging for fourth position. His ability to break up play in the midfield, drive forward and shoot from distance matched what they had with Barry.
However there seems to be no room for this with Barry, De Jong and Vieira regularly in and out of the team. That still leaves the very able Stephen Ireland to warm the Manchester City bench. He in fact could be used as bait. However Villa won’t want to lose another big player when they will have wanted to build their team around the quality of Milner. If their signing James Milner as the twenty million pound winger then I think he is simply not worth it.
The desire of Milner is so far unknown but I hope it does not distract him from focusing on playing for England this summer. If he wants to go, then Villa will need to make sure they drive up the price to the highest possible and perhaps include Ireland in the deal. Villa like City are stuck, as the only players that will improve them are top class thirty million pound players. Villa can’t afford them and City will struggle to attract them.
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