Jurgen Klopp has said that he is ‘blessed’ to be able to work with someone like James Milner, calling the versatile Liverpool midfielder ‘outstanding’.
Despite being one of the senior members of the Liverpool squad, Milner is still one of the fittest players in the Premier League, and once again topped the clubs fitness tests when the players returned to pre-season training earlier this month.
The former Man City winger has been utilised in a number of positions by Jurgen Klopp, and speaking to Liverpoolfc.com from the clubs pre-season tour of the USA, Klopp explained why Milner is so important: “There have not been many [like Milner],” he said.
James Milner in pre-season training with Liverpool. A 33-year-old machine 🤖https://t.co/erxyHvjkKP
— TEAMtalk (@TEAMtalk) July 9, 2019
“I was blessed to have a few players like this; Sebastian Kehl, for example, at Dortmund was a more experienced player in a very young team and was a leader in that team, like Millie is. And I think Millie improved his football a lot in the last two or three years as well.
“His attitude is outstanding. Millie is a sports guy, in each sport he is doing he is brilliant. Without Millie it wouldn’t have been possible. His kind of a little bit dirty dressing-room talks, I cannot do, these things you say in the dressing room that I am not allowed to say in public. That’s the last little kick and that’s nice.
“We have so many leaders in the team: Hendo of course, Millie of course, Gini, Virg, all these guys, they are in a different way all leaders. They know what to do and they will know it for a new season.
“Millie looks again in the pre-season like [he is] in his early 20s; but he isn’t, he knows that, and we try to respect that. But he is not only in the game not really stoppable, in training it’s the same. All good.”