James Milner has a big jersey to fill at Liverpool FC, but that’s no problem. He’s already in seventh heaven at Anfield.
Milner officially joined Liverpool on Monday, completing his free transfer from Manchester City, the Reds announced on their website. Milner, 29, then conducted his first interview as a Liverpool player, telling the club’s in-house television station why he swapped the Etihad Stadium for Anfield and how excited he is to begin his LFC career.
“I was lucky enough to win trophies and be part of a good squad there, but speaking to the club about what their plans were and where they saw me over the next few years at the club, and then speaking to the manager here and his plans going forward and for myself, I just thought it was the right thing for me to hopefully go and get more game time and be part of something special,” Milner told LFCTV.
I’ve been very fortunate to play for some massive clubs during my career so far and this is another one. It’s a great challenge for me. I want to play football and play more centrally if I can — and that’s where the manager said he sees me playing. That’s a big thing for me coming to the later stages of my career — I’m not going to say the end of my career because I still feel I have plenty of football left in me! I want to play as much football as I can. When I’m sat at 45 and retired, I want to look back and see what I’ve done and that I’ve played games, rather than having come to the end of my career and tailed off.”
Milner elected to wear the No. 7 jersey he has done for much of his career. Milner is prepared to bear the weight of history as he joins Kenny Dalglish and Luis Suarez among those who have worn the number at Anfield.
“I was seven at Man City, but at a club like Liverpool you can wear any number on the squad and it’ll have been filled with amazing players who have worn it before,” Milner said. “I know seven is a special number for this football club and hopefully I can be a special player for this club. But as I said, with the success this club has had over its history, you could pick any single number from the squad list and you’ll be wearing a special shirt. Hopefully I can do the shirt proud and win plenty of matches for this football club.”
Milner will integrate himself into Liverpool’s team during preseason. To say he’s ready to show what he can do would understate his excitement at helping the Reds pursue their targets in 2015-16.
“I’d like to come in, show my best form straight away and continue how I finished off last season when I felt I was in pretty good form,” Milner said. “As a team, we want to win trophies — that’s what this club needs to do.
Milner and the Reds embark on their preseason tour of Asia and Australia next week. They’ll begin the new Premier League campaign on Aug. 8 at Stoke City.
Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com