Signing James Milner on a free transfer from Manchester City in June 2015 was an absolute masterstroke by Liverpool.
Some football fans mocked Liverpool at the time, believing Milner was an average-at-best player who would do little to enhance the Reds’ chances of winning silverware.
They couldn’t have been more wrong.
Milner has been worth his weight in gold for the Merseyside outfit, despite his advancing years.
Like a fine wine, he seems to be getting better and better with age.
This is all down to the way Milner dedicates himself to his profession. A manager’s dream, it’s hard to think of a better professional in the Premier League.
The 33-year-old has been keeping himself fit ahead of the 2019/20 season with some long runs in Spain in recent days.
And on Saturday he was back at Melwood for the start of pre-season training.
Although not all of the squad are back yet – Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, for example, are all away on international duty – Jurgen Klopp took the opportunity to see where the rest of his players are at in terms of fitness after a one-month break.
The players in training on Saturday – including Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fabinho – were forced to take part in the dreaded lactate test, which is designed to measure the players’ aerobic endurance.
What a machine.
Milner received a round of applause from those present. They know the midfield workhorse has a big role to play in Liverpool’s upcoming season.