clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

James Milner Makes UEFA List of Top Five Players at Euro

New, comments

Wait, what?

Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

In a summer where Liverpool will be doing its best to convince potential transfer targets that Merseyside is the place to be for the foreseeable future, the job just got a little easier for Jürgen Klopp. Liverpool may not have European competition nor the amazing cultural attractions of London, but what they can now boast is a player in UEFA's list of top players appearing at Euro this summer in France.

That player is James Milner.

With no disrespect intended whatsoever to Liverpool's most mild-mannered midfielder, Milner's inclusion in the any meaningful portion of the list was surprising, let alone earning the fourth or fifth spot (depending on which UEFA-sanctioned version of the list you choose to believe). Milner had a very strong second half to his season, but in a gathering of Europe's best players at a single tournament, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who would have catapaulted him above the likes of Toni Kroos, Paul Pogba, and others.

UEFA was quick to point out that the ranking is the result of lots of very official sounding science, should you not be sure of their methods.

The UEFA EURO 2016 Player Barometer is tracking players' form in the build-up to and during the tournament. The Barometer runs official player statistics through a specially-designed algorithm to create rankings based on player performances.

Player data from qualifying formed the initial basis for the rankings, which have taken into account performances for club and country from 1 January 2016. This gives a unique and comprehensive evaluation of players' form when UEFA EURO 2016 kicks off, after which the Barometer will track which players are excelling in the tournament itself.

Regardless of how they arrived at the rankings, it's a nice boost for Milner ahead of his representing England in his fourth major tournament and second European Championships. Whether he stays on the list will depend on how much of his Liverpool form he can bring to Roy Hodgson's squad, but by the time the tournament starts, UEFA's ranking list is likely to be the furthest thing from his mind.