Liverpool Double winner Steve Nicol reckons he knows the ideal replacement for James Milner in Jurgen Klopp’s side once the veteran midfielder leaves Anfield.
The evergreen Yorkshireman has started three of Liverpool’s four Champions League matches this season and is a key member of Klopp’s squad, despite turning 34 in February and seeing his contract at Anfield expire at the end of the season.
And while the player has vowed to “sort something out” over a new deal with the Reds, it remains a strong possibility the player could spend the final seasons of his career back with hometown club Leeds after Milner admitted it was always on his mind to see out his days back at Elland Road.
Milner was sold by Leeds back in 2004 and a return to United could be on the cards were Marcelo Bielsa seal promotion to the Premier League at the second time of asking. And speaking about returning to Leeds, Milner said last month: “I get asked this all the time.
“Any time I bump into a Leeds fan – or even my mates back home – it’s always, ‘When are you coming back? When are you coming home?’
Any while Milner thinks it would be “amazing in so many different ways” to return to Leeds, he is fully aware that the decision is not just his own.
“There would be so many things to weigh up – not just for myself or my family, but for Leeds,” Milner continued.
And Milner’s future very much up in the air at Liverpool, Nicol has claimed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the one who should benefit once the former’s time is up.
Asked if Klopp needs to add anything to his midfield, Nicol told ESPN FC: “I don’t think so.
“[Jordan] Henderson’s still got two or three seasons in him, Fabinho no question.
“The fact that Chamberlain has come in, I think probably he’s going to be the guy that will replace the minutes that Milner gets, eventually.
“They have [Naby] Keita, so they’ve got plenty of options in the middle and as I said, the hard work that the middle three has to do, you need options. I’m forgetting [Georginio] Wijnaldum as well who’s been superb and who’s probably the most technical player out of all the players in the middle.
“So they’ve got competition for places, they’ve got guys who he knows will work their tail off, and he’s got guys right now who not only will work their tail off, but every now and again will add something as well.”