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James Milner Considering International Retirement After Euro 2016

Depending on the direction of the national team, the Liverpool midfielder is prepared to step away from England duty after Euro 2016.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

James Milner is dependable and better than many give him credit for. The former Manchester City midfielder has shown his effectiveness from the right, scoring four goals and registering three assists from nine league appearances in league action.

A central midfield berth is unlikely to be on offer if Jürgen Klopp persists with a double pivot in midfield, but the 30-year-old's energy, diligence, and durability should ensure that he has a significant role to play under Klopp in the months and seasons ahead. Dirk Kuyt, anyone?

Roy Hodgson -- the former Liverpool and current England manager -- appreciates Milner's talents and is expected to name the Wortley native in his squad for Euro 2016. Hodgson can be conservative, but England benefited from fresh blood in a rousing 3-2 victory over world champions Germany on Saturday.

Berlin was the scene for a stirring comeback with Milner watching on from the bench as Ross Barkley and Jamie Vardy were the only outfield subs called upon. England need experience but must test young players regularly on the international stage. Would Milner be prepared to step away if he felt the breeze of a new direction with the national team?

"I don't know really, I can see pluses and minuses for both and you probably get criticised either way whichever way you take it," Milner said on a possible international retirement. "I think that is a conversation I will probably have with the manager at the start of next season.

"I don't want to be travelling around and not really contributing and being a good tourist. I want to contribute and if the manager sees I have a part to play then great and if not it is better for me to set aside and let younger guys travel around.

"I have been in four tournaments and built up a lot of caps and a lot of experience. Travelling around now I can help the younger guys. It's beneficial for a younger guy to come in and travel around. That's a conversation I will have with the manager and see where he sees me and if I am going to take on a lesser role it is probably better for someone else to step up."

As usual, Milner addressed the situation with his customary level-headedness and professionalism. It shouldn't be forgotten that he made his debut with Leeds as a 16-year-old in the 2002/03 season, so it might be a wise decision to reduce some of his workload in the future.

Milner can just keep on going, but he's approaching 60 senior England caps to go with the 46 games he featured in at under-21 level. A bit more time off would benefit both player and club from next season and beyond, but before 2016/17 begins, Liverpool and England have work to do.

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