James Milner is on verge of expiring his Liverpool contract, but would it be a turning point in his career.
With Michael Edwards stepping down from the sporting director position, The Reds are going to have a busy summer ahead. Julian Ward is the name that will replace the Red’s transfer expert.
Until Edwards departs, he and Ward must wrap up a number of tasks. The most important of all is the conclusion of negotiations for a new long-term contract for Mohamed Salah.
A long-term contract for the Egyptian would be a nice farewell gift from Liverpool’s long-serving transfer hero. It grants Jurgen Klopp the consistency he intends to maintain in his development.
While James Milner’s departure is also scheduled to take place on the same day as the sporting director. Thus, there lies another concern over his contract situation which is supposed to expire on 1st June 2022.
The veteran last signed a contract in 2019, a two-and-a-half-year deal that will keep him until the summer of 2022. James Milner, who’ll be turning 36 soon, is already fifth in the English Premier League’s all-time appearances list.
By the end of the season, he will have surpassed David James to fourth. His tale is one of notable staying power and almost unparalleled dedication to his profession. But with sand running out of the clock, a decision must be made about his future.
What makes James Milner a perfect coach for Liverpool?
The English Midfielder is the attestation to his dedication and passion that, even his age eventually takes its repercussion on his body in the form of more prevalent injuries.
While the vice-captain is never off duty as he is present at all training sessions and matchdays. Even while he is sidelined, Milner remains a vocal influence in the locker room and in the stands as well. He joins those on the outskirts of the squad to cheer on his fellow players on the field.
He frequently sat among Liverpool’s extended staff – those who do not sit next to Klopp in the dugout; the technical team, researchers, and fitness instructors.
These are some signs which prove that the Englishman is already preparing himself for the life after football.
Milner went to watch his youth side for the Champions League match against Fernando Torres led Atletico Madrid. The 35-year-old was constantly supporting the teenagers. Youngster Rhys Williams dubbed him as another coach, who was constantly shouting from the stands last season.
Milner has been working on earning his coaching badges on and off for over a decade, and they appear to be paying off as he gets older.
Other young lads in the team look up to him, including Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliot, who consider Milner as a role model.
During the first team’s winter vacation at the start of 2020, the vice-captain took time off to join the academy side who were facing Shrewsbury in the FA Cup fourth round. Niel Critchley had his say on Milner’s act:
He was getting right behind the players, he was vocal in the dressing room, he was animated behind me, I could hear him.
Will the Reds hand over Milner a new Gaffer role?
It might sound surprising, but James Milner getting a coaching role could be the next best thing for Liverpool.
It would be derogatory to imply that is where Milner could be in over seven months. He is still a trustworthy choice at the highest levels of English and European football.
But pragmatism is necessary from both the player and the club. Thus, they must decide upon where his future lies with the Reds.
Jurgen still considers him as an integral part of the team, reckoned:
I don’t know often I say it, I could say it a lot more times: Milly is incredibly important for this group, incredibly important,”. As a person, as a character, but as a player as well. Not only in the dressing room, but as well in the dressing room.
The German has always been full of praise for the veteran. This doesn’t imply Milner has secured a job on Klopp’s staff or within the academy after the end of his contract. It is still unclear as to what are the Reds are going to do about it, however, the ideology of providing him with the role of a coach could be taken into consideration.