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Carragher Sees James Milner as a Potential Liverpool Captain

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Though some are wary of his high wages, Jamie Carragher is bullish on the signing of James Milner—and sees him as competition for Jordan Henderson as the next Liverpool captain.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The last time Liverpool paid out big wages to land an English player on a free transfer, that player was Joe Cole. It didn’t end well. Most, though, are confident that the imminent signing of James Milner represents a very different kind of pricey free transfer. For one thing, Cole was a spare part at Chelsea at the time. Milner, by contrast, is an integral part for his current club.

His workrate, leadership, and creative contributions have been key to Manchester City’s recent successes, and he has consistently made one of the richest clubs in the world a better side when he has been on the pitch. Set next to a player who could hardly get a regular minute in his final seasons at Chelsea, and there’s really no meaningful comparison to be made beyond the superficials of nationality and price.

"Brendan Rodgers will have spoken to him about where he sees him fitting in, but he’s very similar to Jordan Henderson," was ex-Red and current SkySports pundit Jamie Carragher’s take on Milner. "I have no doubt one reason he’s joining is to play in a more central role rather than out wide. Could he play a holding role? Maybe, but I don’t think that’s what suits him. His main strength is his engine."

On the whole, Carragher is bullish on the likely arrival of Milner, though he does see the player’s best role being the same as Henderson’s, and wonders if it could mean one of them will have to tweak their game slightly when both are on the pitch—we he expects they will be more often than not. He also wonders if Milner might become a surprise captain candidate, an honour he would be taking from Henderson.

"The fact that Brendan Rodgers wouldn’t confirm Henderson as this season’s captain even though he was captain in Gerrard’s absence last season makes me think he and Milner could be competing for the armband," Carragher added. "Was that maybe another thing that enticed Milner to join? Just a few thoughts on the subject, but all in all I think it’s a good signing and I’m glad he’ll be wearing red."