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Gerrard Optimistic About Signing of James Milner from Manchester City

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Steven Gerrard's affiliation with Liverpool has come to a formal (and likely temporary) end, but the former captain has praised the club's capture of versatile midfielder James Milner.

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He's just about a month away from his likely debut for LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer, and that will likely be the first point at which it actually seems real that Steven Gerrard is no longer a Liverpool player. He's still associated with the club in many ways, almost all of them sentimental, and until he's featuring regularly for his new club--and probably even after--he'll be looked to as someone with an intimate knowledge of the goings-on at Anfield.

Gerrard hasn't quite yet gone the way of the litany of other former Liverpool players who have full-time gigs in the media, but he will be joining BT Sport's coverage after the MLS season is over and, before he's even left to start the twilight of his career, he has made a number of comments about the state of the club and their direction going forward.

While he had concerns about the dismissals of Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh, Gerrard struck a far more positive tone when discussing the signing of James Milner, a player with whom he is very familiar as both teammate and opponent.

"He'll bring a vast majority of experience. I think it's a very safe signing in the fact that he's won things. He's a proven winner - I think he's still hungry. I know he's a very fit boy, very professional and he won't let anyone down. I know James very well and he'll be very eager to come and prove to Liverpool fans that he's good enough to be in the XI. So that made sense - we got him on a free transfer as well, so really happy with that one.

"He'll settle in very quickly. He's used to the league, he's very experienced at domestic level and a very experienced international player. I think he'll bring energy to the midfield, he's a good passer, he's safe in possession. I'm very confident he'll slot in very nicely and he'll adapt to Brendan's way of playing very quickly. I can picture him now with Lucas [Leiva], Joe Allen and [Jordan] Henderson and I can see them doing a good job."

It remains to be seen how Rodgers sets up his midfield, as the futures of Lucas and Joe Allen are anything but certain and, at least according to the player, Emre Can has been all but guaranteed a transition to the midfield. With Milner and Jordan Henderson locked-on starters and the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana capable of featuring from deeper as well, there's plenty of options, and it'll be up to the manager to find a combination that works best for the personnel and system.

That Milner is capable of featuring across setups is a significant strength, as Gerrard points out, and it's hard to disagree with much of anything the former Liverpool captain mentions here.