James Milner may have lost a bit of sharpness, pace and agility, but he is still proving to be a key player for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side.
The 32-year-old midfielder has enjoyed successful spells at Newcastle, Aston Villa, and Manchester City before joining Liverpool, but he regrets his move away from Leeds United.
Milner started his youth career at Leeds and made his senior debut for the club in 2002 at the age of 16. He spent two years at Elland Road before he joined Newcastle United.
The former England international has said recently that the move to Tyneside came as a shock to him. Milner revealed that he was expecting to discuss a new contract, only to find out that he was going to be sold to the Magpies.
The news came as a big shock to him and he regrets the fact that he didn’t get the chance to play for the club for a longer period.
“It was a very tough time to get relegated and there were a lot of financial things going on – things in the papers, off-field problems… you had to grow up quickly by watching the senior players and how they were dealing with everything,” Milner told FourFourTwo.
“As hard as it was, I learned a lot very quickly. Within two years I’d had numerous managers, and highs and lows. By the start of my second season, Peter Reid had come in and I was sent on loan to Swindon. I did quite well there, went back to Leeds and started playing in every game.
“But then, in 2004, I turned up on the first day of pre-season thinking we were going to discuss a new contract, and someone said: ‘You’re going up to Newcastle for your medical tomorrow’. I was like: ‘Am I?’ That was tough.
“It was disappointing that I didn’t get to play for Leeds for longer, but to do it at all was pretty special.”
Milner, who won two Premier League titles with Manchester City, has a contract at the Anfield club till 2019, and many Leeds fans are urging the club to sign him next summer when he will be a free agent. Here are some of the best reactions on Twitter:
— We Are Leeds (@WeAreLeeds1919) August 23, 2018
LEGEND, would love to have him back ??
— Lee Tyson (@tyselland) August 23, 2018
He’s made his money now & knocking on if he really wanted to come bk on a lot lower terms & thought of it as a challenge to take his club up & go down in history he would or is that just my way of thinking that this would be a normal thing to happen
— ⚜Karlos⚜ (@karltrinity1873) August 24, 2018
We’ll take you back @JamesMilner
— Josh Hobbs (@JoshAHobbs) August 23, 2018
@JamesMilner The best player Leeds brought through in my lifetime. Showing the best form of his career at Liverpool right now ??
— Aaron (@aaron_wez) August 24, 2018
If you come back, it will be mayhem. Make it happen Lad #mot
— ER Cheap Seats (@ErCheap) August 23, 2018
@JamesMilner the fools who sent you to Newcastle have gone, so you can come back now!! ?
— MPMCAD (@mpmcad) August 23, 2018