Rob Jones: Why Liverpool players will look up to James Milner
Former Liverpool defender Rob Jones says James Milner will add experience to Brendan Rodgers's Reds squad
Rob Jones believes James Milner can replace Steven Gerrard as a source of inspiration in the Liverpool squad.
The England international agreed a deal to join the Reds earlier this month as manager Brendan Rodgers won the battle to sign the midfielder amid interest from rivals Arsenal.
He is a great professional as well. Now Stevie has gone, he’ll be someone for the young players to look up to and learn from him
The former Leeds United midfielder is set to join the 18-time English champions on 1 July following the expiration of his current Manchester City deal.
Milner will help to fill the void left by Gerrard after the midfielder played his final game for the Reds in May, and former Liverpool defender Jones reckons the two-time Premier League winner is an excellent addition.
“There was a lot of talk about James Milner for a while. I didn’t think we’d get him but I had always hoped that we would sign him,” Jones told The Sport Review.
“He is the perfect player for us. He has got experience which is important because we’ve got a pretty young side. He’ll bring a lot of maturity.
“He is a great professional as well. Now Stevie has gone, he’ll be someone for the young players to look up to and learn from him.
“He can play in a lot of different positions. He can put a good ball in if we do buy a big, strong centre-forward. He is a great addition to the squad.”
Former Liverpool centre-half Jamie Carragher touted Milner as a potential candidate to succeed Gerrard in the captaincy role at Anfield earlier this month.
But Jones, who made 248 appearances for the Reds during an eight-year career at Anfield, reckons manager Rodgers should select a player more ingrained in the Liverpool way.
“I’d choose someone who has been at Liverpool a bit longer, someone like Jordan Henderson,” Jones added.
“Obviously it a decision for Brendan. He is bringing in a good experienced player but do you throw him in as captain as well?”
Milner scored four goals and has made six assists in 30 Premier League appearances this season, although the midfielder has only started 16 games.
The England midfielder has won two Premier League titles and the FA Cup following his move to The Etihad from Aston Villa in 2011.