LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 12, 2018: Liverpool's James Milner during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp predicts long future for Liverpool’s evergreen vice-captain James Milner

Though stressing the importance of every Liverpool player, Jurgen Klopp hailed James Milner‘s “physical abilities” as he tips him to play long into the future.

Alongside Naby Keita and Georginio Wijnaldum, Milner has started both of the Reds’ first two games of the season so far, and produced excellent form.

At 32, he is the oldest member of Klopp’s squad, but has performed with the vitality of a player considerably younger, relishing a regular berth in his natural midfield role.

Though the manager conceded he may make changes for Saturday’s clash with Brighton, he seemingly has no issue with fielding Milner for a third consecutive game.

He stopped short of singling the vice-captain out for praise at this stage of the season, instead emphasising the all-round value of his squad.

But describing Milner as “such a sports guy,” he tipped his playing career to extend for a further six years:

LONDON, ENGLAND - Monday, August 20, 2018: Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring the first goal from a penalty kick with team-mate Roberto Firmino (centre) and Naby Keita (right) during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I didn’t work together with him [when he was younger], but since I’ve worked together I was always fine.

“It was always good. Yes, he started different positions, we played different systems, then he played full-back, now he plays in a midfield role.

“But all of our players are influential in that.

“Age is no issue for Milly, for sure. He’s an absolutely natural, skilled boy. He really is such a sports guy, probably every sport he tries, he’s good in.

“In all [other] parts of life, if you’re 32 in any company in the world they tell you ‘wait a few years, until you can get a real job’.

“In football it sounds like they’re already close to retirement!

“It’s not too far away, but there are players that can play until 36, 37, even 38.

“And because of his physical abilities I’m pretty sure he’s one of them, if he’s lucky enough with injuries.

“So the end is not in sight, and his desire to improve is exceptional.

“He’s a very, very good player. If it’s the best moment in his career, maybe you had better ask him.”

CHARLOTTE, USA - Sunday, July 22, 2018: Liverpool's James Milner during a preseason International Champions Cup match between Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool FC at the Bank of America Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Milner is currently in his 17th season as a senior professional, but as a teetotaller with remarkable natural fitness and a well-planned sleeping routine he is showing no signs of stopping.

His decision to retire from international football in 2016, and turning down the possibility of returning under Gareth Southgate, has clearly played a pivotal role in his longevity.

Whether he remains with Liverpool into his twilight years remains to be seen, but for now he should be considered a key player at Anfield.

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