With James Milner it is a case of sooner rather than later

Aston Villa fans may need to accept the strong possibility of James Milner leaving the club this summer.

The young midfielder has really started to make a name for himself in the Premiership this season and is likely to be on the England plane to South Africa. The Leeds-born player currently has 12 goals and 12 assists to his name and his efforts have been recognised by his peers as he was recently crowned the PFA Young Player Of The Year. Ever since he made his debut for Leeds United at the age of 16 he has looked like a talented player with a lot of potential, and speculation is now rife that the two Manchester clubs will move for him this summer. But Martin O’Neill is strongly insisting that he will resist any overtures for his star midfielder.

Milner’s Villa team mate Stillian Petrov, believes that the club need to keep hold of him in order to further their success:

“If the club wants to go forward we need to keep our best players like any big team, and I hope our chairman and manager will do their best to keep our good players as well. It is very important we keep James. We have got a lot of talent at this club, which has cost a lot of money. We need to make sure they are happy and stay here.”

Petrov went on to say:

“If we try to match his ambition, and the club show they are doing things the right way, I don’t think James will go somewhere else. People say that if Manchester United come knocking at your door it’s a different question, then the manager and the player need to make a decision. He can play in any team and at that level, but we hope he will stay with us.”

Without a doubt Petrov’s comments about Villa needing players like James Milner to progress is 100 per cent right. But if given the chance to join a club like Manchester United it seems very unlikely that Milner would reject the chance. The only problem United might be concerned with is whether he will play on a consistant basis, he seems a perfect replacement for Paul Scholes who’s career is coming to a close but United already have a young and talented attacking midfielder by the name of Anderson. Therefore it will be interesting to see if Milner was signed by Man Utd, whether or not Anderson would still be at the club next season. As for the other half of Manchester you also have to ask whether or not Milner would get in the team as City have an abundance of good midfield players and like United also have a young and talented midfielder in Michael Johnson who before his injury couldn’t get a game for the team.

Regardless as to what club he ends up at, it is looking increasingly likely that Milner will leave the Midlands this summer. Aston Villa paid £12m for him last season when they signed him from Newcastle, so they will surely be looking to receive double that amount from a club that wants his services. However after the performances he’s put in this season he looks well worth that amount, and at just 24 years of age there’s no telling how far his career could go.

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