This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has admitted that Liverpool midfielder James Milner is the most frustrating opposition player he’s ever played against.
After spending eight seasons at Manchester United, the former France international heaped praise on Milner and even said that he could handle playing against Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
The former Leeds United and Manchester City man joined Liverpool from the Citizens on a free transfer in 2015 and has since won the Champions League and the Super Cup during his time at the club.
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Speaking on Sky Sports, via Goal, Evra named the English midfielder as his toughest opponent.
“James Milner. I played against Messi many times in the wide position, and I won’t say he’s easy to mark, but I could deal with it. It’s when he goes central, that’s when he’s dangerous because he can turn on the right or left.
“James Milner, only because he could frustrate me because I’m an attacking defender and he’s following me everywhere and challenging me in the air and I would just get frustrated sometimes. ‘Just go and attack and leave me alone!’
“When I was playing the derby against Manchester City, I had him and then he went to Liverpool and I had him again. So yeah, the one who frustrated me the most was James Milner.”
Evra is not the only player to make such comments about the Champions League winner.
Former Barcelona right-back Dani Alves said that Milner was the “most annoying” player he has played against, perfectly echoing what Evra said about him on Monday. Because of these comments, Liverpool must make it one of their top priorities to renew Milner’s contract.
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Of course, this isn’t the only reason why the Reds should offer the Englishman a new deal. At the age of 33, Milner has fantastic versatility playing under the German manager. His incredible fitness, good injury record and experience of winning big trophies is something that the youngsters can thrive off at Melwood.
With two of the best full-backs in the modern football era saying that Milner is the sort of player that they hate playing against, this is exactly the kind of individual that is required at Liverpool this season and beyond.