Now 33 years of age, James Milner is the oldest outfield player in Liverpool’s squad. The preternaturally fit midfielder, though, shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, and with a reported new contract in the works, he says he can still improve.
“Every single day you go out on that field you can learn,” Milner said. “Maybe my role’s a bit more about helping the younger guys now, but I can learn from my teammates, I can learn from the manager. You’ve always got to try to improve as much as you can.
“I’ll go into every training session, every day, with that mindset that you never know anything. I’m sure the manager’s learned things, and he’s been in football a lot longer than me. You [can’t have] the mindset where you think that you know everything.”
Milner has established himself as one of the most important and versatile members of Jürgen Klopp’s title-challenging squad—a player the manager can count on whether he’s being called on as a late substitute to shore up midfield or to start at left back.
It reflects both his talents but also his drive—the drive that has him showing no signs of slowing down despite being the oldest outfield player in the squad and closing in now on having played more games for Liverpool than any of his other clubs.
In fact, Milner has already played more games for the Reds than he did for Aston Villa, Newcastle, or Leeds, and he’s just 15 games away from having played as many games for Liverpool as he did at his last club and current title rivals Manchester City.
With the fixtures coming thick and fast over the next two months, it’s possible he could reach that mark by the middle of December—or the end of the year at the latest if he gets a couple of matches off along the way.