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Milner almost quit Liverpool over Klopp’s left-back request

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James Milner admits he considered his Liverpool future after Jurgen Klopp asked him to play out of position as a left-back.

James Milner has become Liverpool’s ultimate utility player. Even at 34 he is highly valued and signed a new contract at the club back in December.

If Jurgen Klopp has needed a winger he has called on Milner, likewise a midfielder, and similarly when the Liverpool boss needed a left-back.

Milner has no problem being the utility man for Klopp but admits when asked to play as a left-back it almost brought an abrupt end to his Anfield career.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said:

“It was what the manager needed at the time.”

“There’s always going to be positions you prefer but you do what’s needed for the team.”

“I suppose at that point I could have turned around and said, ‘No I don’t want to do that, I want to leave’.”

“He came to ask me to do it in pre-season and my mindset was, ‘OK, how can I be the best I can be in that position?’ and I started to learn the role.”

“A few of the boys were a bit surprised when we set up at pre-season training the next day and I was at left-back, but that was part of the fun.”

While he thought about leaving, he knew he was part of something special at the club and stuck it out.

Milner added:

“Do you want to walk away from Liverpool and a manager of his caliber and not be part of something?”

“I did the job as best I could and the year after that I don’t know what was in his mind.”

“Maybe he thought, ‘Left-back, that’s him done,’ so it was a challenge to force my way back into the reckoning in midfield and I managed to do that.”

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