Aston Villa have struggled in recent years to establish themselves as ‘the best of the rest’, where they will feel they belong.
One of the summer additions that did not cost a huge initial fee was Boubacar Kamara, who was brought in to be a busy defensive midfielder to facilitate creativity further up the field.
However, injury struck, as it has done all too often this season for Villa, and he has now been ruled out for the foreseeable future. The nature of the injury, being his knee ligaments, suggests it will be until way after the World Cup.
It can, therefore, leave many questioning who, if any can fill a role that is so important to the function of the team.
One player who definitely could have done it in his prime is James Milner, who enjoyed a stint at Villa Park back in the late 2000s.
However, his career has since proven him extremely versatile and capable of filling in wherever he is required.
Gary Neville spoke on the 36-year-old’s performance after the match, claiming: “I thought it epitomised what Liverpool were today in terms of their passion, spirit, their energy, their fight.”
He continued: “But he was just tenacious. I think it epitomised his career, not just Liverpool today. Not just in terms of his position and one he didn’t want to play but he’s there again doing a job for the team.”
He has earned huge praise throughout his career for his ability to pick a pass, yet also be incredibly secure in his defensive displays. It is this security that Villa are craving now, as they look to put an end to having conceded 13 in their ten league games this season.
To place the prime version of a man labelled a “workhorse” by journalist Leanne Prescott where Kamara had been previously, could actually spark some consistency for Gerrard’s struggling side.
Adding leadership and the unflinching sportsmanship of Milner would be a stroke of genius for a team in disarray.