BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks said that James Milner’s actions during our 2-1 win against Bournemouth as “heroic”.
The 34-year-old made his first Premier League appearance since mid-February as his side got back to winning ways over the relegation-battling Cherries. Goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane overturned a controversial Callum Wilson opener after he looked to push Joe Gomez in the build-up. Milner cleared Ryan Fraser’s chip off the line in the second half as Eddie Howe’s side looked to have equalised.
Speaking with BBC Sport, Crooks placed the former Manchester City midfielder in his Team of the Week and drooled over his second-half clearance.
“Bournemouth started the weekend in the bottom three and by the end of it they were still there – thanks to James Milner,” he told BBC Sport. “The Liverpool captain was heroic as he produced what was arguably the clearance of the season.
Is James Milner underappreciated?
“I said after Liverpool’s defeat against Watford that the Reds could not afford to be without Jordan Henderson and Milner at the same time and so it proved. Milner was also responsible for a headed clearance that stopped Nathan Ake, who had another impressive performance, from stealing a point.”
Crooks’ words are music to my ears and he is spot on. Milner has been probably the best free transfer in our history. No-made made a song and dance about the deal when it was announced at the time, but has gone to prove some of his harshest critics wrong since his move to Anfield in 2015.
The tone has quickly shifted from segments of the Kop faithful. From not wanting his contract renewed to demands that the former England international is offered a new contract. With 26 goals and 40 assists from 209 appearances in five years (as per TransferMarkt), it’s safe to say that he had a significant hand in our rise to the top.