“I know Milly and he wants to play always. Maybe that was not the case at City and it made sense to leave.

“From the outside, it looks a difficult transition – to come from a wide position or central midfield to specialist role at full-back.

“But James is football-smart, has good instincts and is quick, so he is good.

“It says more about his quality to make that switch. It would not have been the smartest decision if he said he didn’t want to do it.


“He has had to deal with situations like this in a long career already. He was open and I was not surprised by that.

“I am not 100 per cent sure what his future holds in this position, but he is comfortable and, with the ball especially, he looks assured.

“For sure he has five or six really good years.”

The Reds battled Tottenham for the signature of Milner, before Brendan Rodgers signed him as a free transfer in the summer of 2015, and the former Manchester City midfielder has proved his worth in his one and half seasons at Anfield.