James Milner has long been noted for his versatility, but until this season, that versatility hadn’t extended to regularly playing at fullback. So when manager Jürgen Klopp signalled that he would go into the season with Milner first choice on the left, more than a few were skeptical.
Milner, though, has quickly settled into the role, and now looks like he might have played his entire career at the position. Which is something right back Nathaniel Clyne doesn’t quite know how to process given he’s trained his entire career to become as good as he is at the position.
“He seems to make it look easy!” Clyne joked. “I’ve trained my whole career to be a fullback and he comes in and makes it look easy. He’s enjoying, and also getting on the score sheet. He’s very professional—every team needs a James Milner in their side, who can play any position.”
Having retired from international duty, Milner will be at Anfield training with the team during the October international break. And, unusually, Clyne will be joining him. Though having picked up a rare knock, he is likely to be doing less training than his fullback counterpart.
Clyne has reportedly been playing through a minor knee injury in recent weeks, and the goal is to get him back up to 100% fitness over the break. It’s a rare injury for a player Klopp has nicknamed “the machine” for his ability to seemingly play every minute of every game.
“The manager has called me a machine in the past,” said Clyne when asked what Klopp calls him. “It’s probably because I play in loads of games and rarely get injured or come off with knocks. All I try to do is my best for the team and to try not to complain about anything.”