England star linked with Manchester City exit – Three key questions

Etihad Stadium

James Milner’s reported inclination to leave the Premier League club raises a few talking points.

James Milner has been at Manchester City since 2010 and has won two Premier League titles and one FA Cup trophy.

However, the England international midfielder is reportedly not happy at the Etihad Stadium and, according to The Guardian, wants to leave this summer.

Having been used largely as a utility player and played on the wide rather than centrally over the last four years, the 28-year-old has reportedly told the club that he wants to depart.

Arsenal are said to be leading the race for Milner’s signature, while Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are also claimed to have shown interest.

Now, we ponder on the three big questions that this story poses.

Should James Milner leave?

Milner has been at City since 2010 and has been proved important in both of their title triumphs. He has been largely played out on the wide and has been used as a utility man, and he has yet to make 25 or more Premier League starts in a single campaign. This is why Milner has reportedly told City that he wants to move: he wants to play more and there just isn’t any scope for him to do so at Manuel Pellegrini’s side. However, would it be worthwhile to leave the Premier League champions and join another club? Wouldn’t it be a step down? Yet, Milner has won five trophies with the Manchester outfit and perhaps he may feel that it is now time to get more regular playing time.

Should Manchester City let Milner go?

It’s fair to say that City wouldn’t be worse off on the pitch if Milner goes: they have enough players to cover him. However, the former Aston Villa man and fellow England international Joe Hart are the only two first-team regulars for the Citizens. With Joleon Lescott, Gareth Barry, Jack Rodwell, Micah Richards and Scott Sinclair all set to leave the Etihad this summer, it will leave City short of meeting UEFA’s policy of eight home-grown players in the squad. Richard Wright and Dedryck Boyata could be given new deals, but those two hardly ever play, while Milner still remains someone who can contribute. City will probably try to offer Milner a big wage package, but whether that will convince him to stay or not remains to be seen.

Where should Milner go?

Arsenal are reportedly very keen on Milner, while Liverpool, Spurs and Everton are also said to be monitoring the situation. Joining the Gunners or the Reds would be a good career move for the England international: he will be playing for ambitious clubs and under managers who are patient and willing to give players a second chance. Everton too would be a good option, but whether Milner would like to play for a club that is not one of the top four remains to be seen. Spurs? There is too much uncertainty and instability at White Hart Lane and Milner will also face quite some competition, especially if the new manager decides to sign new players.

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