This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
James Milner continues to defy his age as he readies himself for another season at Liverpool.
The midfielder will be 34 in January but he made 45 appearances last season and is likely to have another key role to play this term.
Indeed, he was deployed as a central midfielder, a right-back, a right midfielder and a left midfielder throughout the 2018/19 campaign.
And the stats prove that he is holding off the ravages of time.
Compared to Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Naby Keita, the club’s usual midfield three, Milner’s stats come across superbly.
Per WhoScored, he scored five goals in the Premier League, while the three scored four between them.
Milner also registered the most key passes, the most crosses, and the second-most tackles (behind Fabinho), and dribbles (behind Keita).
This is a hybrid midfielder who can do genuinely everything.
He clears the ball more regularly than both Henderson and Keita and has more shots per game than his English team-mate and the Brazilian anchor man.
Watch Liverpool Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv Below
The key now is giving Milner’s body the rest it needs.
He is a full-throttle midfielder capable of getting up and down the pitch but, even so, one has to feel that it would be wise to limit his playing time in the coming months.
Milner has made over 500 appearances in the top-flight and Klopp needs to manage him carefully to ensure he is as effective as he can be.
The former Aston Villa and Manchester City man can be a key weapon for the club as they attempt to win their first Premier League title and defend their Champions League crown.
For him to do that, though, Klopp needs to handle him with care.