Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher believes Manchester City should do everything in their power to hold onto James Milner, with the England international out of contract in the summer and likely to leave the struggling Sky Blues for greener pastures as a result of a lack of playing time.
The 29-year-old looked set to depart in the summer, as he’s failed to agree terms on a new deal, despite manager Manuel Pellegrini expressing a desire to keep the experienced midfielder. Milner has been a terrific servant for the Sky Blues since signing from Aston Villa in 2010, but has never managed to force his way into the starting lineup a lengthy period of time.
This season alone, he’s been introduced from the bench as many times as he’s started for Manchester City, and with clubs such as Arsenal and Liverpool reportedly interested in signing him, Milner is considering his future with the club. Jamie Carragher believes the versatile midfielder is the heart and soul of the club, and being a homegrown players makes him key to new regulations that could come to the forefront in the coming seasons.
He was quoted as saying: “I don’t think City can afford to lose someone of Milner’s quality. He can play a number of positions; he’s English which, in the current climate, means players like him are a requirement.”
“He also has an energy and athleticism which the Manchester City squad as a whole lacks. If he goes, they’ll be losing quite a lot of things he brings to the team. He’s versatile, English and his running power, which is something that you would have to level at City – they lack that pace, certainly in midfield areas. It would be a big loss.”
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