What James Milner did at Liverpool during the international break was ‘phenomenal’

Back in November 2002, James Milner became the second-youngest player to have ever played in the Premier League.

The following month, he became the youngest goalscorer in Premier League history.

While that record has since been beaten, Milner is still tearing up the Premier League – and the Champions League – 16 years later.

The 32-year-old is enjoying one of the best campaigns of his career, helping Liverpool to third in the league table.

But it’s his performances in the Champions League that have perhaps been most impressive.

Milner has played a big role in Jurgen Klopp’s side reaching the semi-finals, picking up a record-equalling eight assists during that run.

One reason for Milner’s brilliant campaign might be due to the fact he’s retired from international football.

During the international breaks, Milner has stayed at Melwood to train with remaining senior players – as well as some youngsters.

But that doesn’t mean Milner takes it easy during the fortnight break from domestic football.

In fact, when Liverpool U23 player Herbie Kane was given the opportunity to train with the handful of first-team players not on national team duty during the most recent international break, he was blown away by Milner.

According to ESPN, after returning to Liverpool’s Kirkby Academy after his seven days spent at Melwood, Kane “immediately highlighted the ‘phenomenal’ levels of James Milner.”

Even when there were only eight or so players involved in the session, Milner was charging around the training ground very much ‘training as he plays.’

“You’re talking about a player who is 30-something, has Premier League winners medals,” U23s boss Neil Critchley told reporters.

“You think maybe he might take it easy, take his foot off the gas, but no. Every single day he’s putting it in.”

It sums Milner up perfectly.

It’s that sort of energy that we’ve seen throughout his career – and it’s something Klopp’s side are definitely benefitting from.

In Liverpool’s Champions League second-leg against Manchester City, Milner ran almost two kilometers more than anyone else on the pitch.

As Kane says, Milner is ‘phenomenal’ and he’s setting a perfect example to those at the academy.