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Liverpool: James Milner was “shocking” against Man United

Liverpool remain winless in the Premier League and it will be a bitter pill for Jurgen Klopp and his team to swallow after failing to take any points from Old Trafford against Manchester United last night.

The Reds now sit 16th in the league table after drawing two and ending their trip to Manchester in a 2-1 defeat, with the glaringly obvious issue at the club put into the spotlight over the course of the game as the midfield selection of James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Harvey Elliott failed to control the centre of the pitch.

Despite having 70% possession, more shots on goal (17 v 12), shots on target (5 v 4), and better pass accuracy (84% v 67%), the visitors were careless in handling their fierce rivals and deservedly lost the game.

Although there were many players that could have fingers pointed at them for countless errors, one player who stuck out like a sore thumb in the midfield three was £150k-per-week midfielder Milner.

The 36-year-old who was dubbed “shocking” by journalist Toby Cudworth during the game, was selected in Klopp’s starting line-up to occupy a spot in a central role and it will be a decision the German coach will surely rue following his performance.

Milner was dribbled past a whopping five times by willing United runners, lost possession of the ball every 3.8 touches and won just seven of his 16 duels combined, proving that the player no longer has what it takes to keep up with the clinical play Klopp’s system thrives on to dominate in games.

As a result, FSG must finally replace him this summer by looking towards the transfer market or searching for alternative options in the squad.

The midfielder’s selection was a surprise to Liverpool supporters who were expecting to see Naby Keita in the team following his return from illness in the game against Crystal Palace where he sat on the bench, alas the player was not even in the matchday squad on Monday evening.

The Athletic’s Liverpool reporter James Pearce confirmed before kick-off that Keita joins Curtis Jones, Thiago Alcantara and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the injury table, coming at a time where the Guinea international has reportedly expressed he is unhappy at the club.

Should Liverpool sign a new midfielder?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Whether Keita is injured or not, it is clear that FSG must act now over the next nine days to identify players that can make a positive impact and to give a fresh perspective in the midfield over the weeks or months ahead that Liverpool could be without a fully fit crop of midfielders.

It will be interesting to see how the Merseyside giants react to the defeat with a clash at Anfield coming up on Saturday against Bournemouth, and if the powers at the club don’t recruit the players Liverpool could need to compete over the remaining days of the transfer window it could be a big risk.

Indeed, based on this performance, Milner must be one of the first players to face the axe as he simply isn’t up to the task anymore. How Liverpool supporters must long for someone like Jude Bellingham instead.

Article title: Liverpool: James Milner was “shocking” against Man United

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