It’s been another prolific transfer window for Liverpool, and in usual fashion the Reds have done their business nice and early.
A deal was agreed with Fabio Carvalho back in May, and the Reds ensured that moves for Calvin Ramsay and Darwin Nunez were wrapped up well before the start of July. Similarly, Sadio Mane has already moved on, allowing Jurgen Klopp as much time as possible to prepare for life without the Senegalese star.
Nunez has come in to retain Liverpool’s threat up top with Mane departing, and Ramsay has been signed as a much needed back-up to the brilliant Trent Alexander-Arnold. But fans continue to cry out for a new midfielder as Georginio Wijnaldum is still yet to be replaced from last summer, not that Klopp is too worried after what he’s seen in pre-season.
Wijnaldum left for Paris Saint Germain last summer, and Liverpool opted not to bring in a different player in that position. However, Thiago stepped up a level after a staggered start to life at Anfield.
Fabinho remains Liverpool’s enforcer in the centre, and Jordan Henderson is also a guaranteed starter when fully fit. So nothing to worry about, right? Well, it’s clear that the general consensus of Liverpool fans feel as though the club need to strengthen in that area and Jude Bellingham continues to be the ideal candidate.
Liverpool aren’t a club that get pressured into situations, and their recruitment record speaks for itself over the past seven years under Klopp. Perhaps there is a long-term plan that could see Bellingham move to Anfield, but for now Klopp has exactly what he needs.
Curtis Jones is one for the future, and Naby Keita is still due that breakthrough season, but James Milner has yet again proven why he can still do the job at the age of 36. Milner agreed a one-year contract extension with Liverpool last season, and he’s looking to go out with a bang.
Milner has won the Liverpool annual lactate test for the seventh successive season, as the midfielder continues to defy the odds in pre-season testing. The 36-year-old has smashed tests ever since he joined Liverpool from Manchester City, and he has posted a record that will take some beating.
Of course, he won’t start every game, but Milner continues to be an excellent asset to Klopp’s team, and the German has praised his stars on the fringes just as much as the regular starters in the past. He may be 36, but Milner is still in excellent condition, and could even be assisting Liverpool’s reported pursuit of Bellingham.
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With Klopp not needing to immediately dip into the market, it allows for more preparation for the future. And it seems like Milner is a hugely influential figure off the pitch too.
Milner was clapped over the line by his onlooking teammates as he was the last man standing in Liverpool’s pre-season testing, earning major respect, especially from Andy Robertson. The tests have caused the Scotsman to puke in the past, as he revealed: “It’s basically running to your maximum.
“I remember running alongside Danny Ings and I was just sick everywhere! Actually physically sick. [With the test] they set up poles around the pitch and you have to make each pole on the whistle but then it gets faster and faster.”
Milner is still a very capable asset, and Klopp’s faith to stick with him in the short-term and resist dipping into the market has paid off. Liverpool will likely look for a new star next summer, but for now, Milner continues to impress.