Stats: Is this the reason why James Milner may want to leave Manchester City?

Arsenal and Liverpool have been two of the clubs that have been linked strongly with the midfielder.

Reports earlier this week suggested that James Milner would like to leave Manchester City. During his time at the club, Milner has won the Premier League title on two occasions, the League Cup and the FA Cup.

As a result, in terms of trophies his time at Manchester City has been the most decorated but the England international has been linked with a move away from the club, after reportedly telling officials at City he wants to leave, with Arsenal and Liverpool said to be interested. So why would he want to leave the Etihad Stadium?

Under Manuel Pellegrini, it has been difficult for Milner to hold down a regular starting place with much of his time being spent on the bench this season, even though he has been involved in the fight on all four fronts in the past season for silverware.

  TeamPosTotal Sub OnAppsMins
James Milner Man City MF 19 31 1,358

It's not as if Pellegrini doesn't see the value of Milner, but with 19 off his 31 Premier League appearances from the substitutes bench, he doesn't see him as the player to help the side out from the start, he likes to use him more for his impact. But as we see from the statistic below, he does tend to finish games. 

  TeamPosTotal Sub OffAppsMins
James Milner Man City MF 3 31 1,358

Pellegrini obviously likes Milner to be on the pitch at the end of the game, so he obviously feels he has some quality about him. He may feel he is a player that can either help see out the game or come up with the crucial moment that gets a vital point or wins the game for City.

But would he get the same opportunities if he moved elsewhere? Arsenal have had injury problems in the past few seasons in the middle of the park, notably this season when Aaron Ramsey was injured they missed his quality which partly led to them falling away in the title race, and Milner could be looked as another person to add quality to the Gunners' resources. Also his versatility would allow Arsene Wenger more options meaning he is likely to be given more of an opportunity.

The same would apply if he moved to Liverpool, and his versatility would allow him to slot into the diamond formation that has been deployed by Brendan Rodgers at Anfield lately quite easily.  

There may be times when he's left out or rotated if he were to make the switch to either Anfield or the Emirates Stadium, but City have a wealth of options. That's not to say the other two clubs in question don't, but Milner would likely become a more integral part of the side if he joined either Arsenal or Liverpool.

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