Every successful squad needs a few key veterans in it. Players who have been there, done that; who have both gotten the winner’s medal and struggled with coming in second (or seventh) best. Players who know what it takes to bridge that gap.
For Liverpool, any list of the key veterans starts with James Milner, and for the younger players, his experience is invaluable. At least according to Trent Alexander-Arnold, who sees a blueprint for his own future in the vice-captain’s approach.
“I’d say James Milner is the most consistent player I’ve ever played or trained with,” Alexander-Arnold said. “I’ve never seen him have a bad session or a bad game. He’s so reliable and so versatile and that’s everything you want in a player.
“He’ll put his body on the line for the team and he’s non-stop. When times are hard, he’ll put in a tackle that lifts everyone and gets everyone up for the game [and] off the pitch he holds the highest standards that I’ve probably ever seen in someone.”
Few in the game work as hard as Milner does to stay fit and focused, and if some of that dedication to keeping himself physically prepared rubs off on a younger player like the 20-year-old Alexander-Arnold, that can’t be anything but a good thing.
“He demands a lot from himself and seeing that on a daily basis is incredible,” the young fullback added. “He’ll never give up in training, he’ll never stop running, and it gives you that motivation to do the same.”