LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 18, 2021: Liverpool's James Milner during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Best free transfer in Liverpool’s history!” – Fans “delighted” at new James Milner contract

The news of James Milner‘s new one-year contract may not be the blockbuster update many fans are hoping for, but it has been heralded as great business.

With his previous contract due to expire on July 1, Milner has agreed a one-year extension that sees his wages reduced significantly.

The deal will take him beyond his 37rd birthday and into his 21st season in the Premier League, prolonging his stay at the club where he has spent more time than any other in his senior career.

While Sadio Mane pushes for the exit and tricky negotiations continue with Mohamed Salah, the news of Milner extending his stay will not be as well-received by certain supporters.

But as many took to social media to reflect on a new contract for the No. 7, there were plenty of positives to focus on.

While Liverpool’s recruitment strategy is aimed at bringing the average age of Jurgen Klopp‘s squad down, with the likes of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Ibrahima Konate brought in, it is also vital to retain a core of experience.

There are none more experienced than Milner, whose new contract is likely to see him leapfrog Frank Lampard into third in the Premier League‘s all-time appearances list.

And with the introduction of the five sub rule in the Premier League, there can be no concerns over the veteran taking minutes from youngsters within the squad.

Instead, Liverpool have extended the stay of a player who is crucial both on and off the pitch – and doing so while agreeing to a big decrease in his salary.