Despite reaching 50 caps for the England side last month, Milner’s place in Roy Hodgson’s plans comes under much scrutiny whenever he is selected.
The 28-year-old is stuck between two era’s of English football, with Hodgson removing the old guard of the ‘Golden Generation’ in favour of young and promising talents scattered around the Premier League.
With Milner still plying his trade at the Etihad, there is no doubt that his place in the Three Lions squad is guaranteed, although whether he deserves a starting role is a source of debate. His career mirrors that of Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, with whom Milner now shares a club, after the 36-year-old signed for the Premier League Champions on a short-term loan deal in the summer.
Despite winning a host of trophies as a Chelsea player, Lampard’s place in the England squad always came into question, with the eternal Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard debate rearing its head during every international break. However, Lampard fought through the criticism, and he won 106 caps for the Three Lions, before retiring from international duty following the World Cup this summer.
Reaching the 100-cap mark is a record any player would love to hold, and Milner told Standard Sport that he is using Lampard as an example to learn and improve from.
He said: “Frank is a great example to any player, including myself. For him to be doing what he is at his age and the standard he is playing at, is amazing to see.
“He shows me and everyone what you can do if you look after yourself and train the right way. I see him playing like this at 36 and it gives me hope that I can play for England that long.
“He’s had an amazing England career so I don’t want to compare myself to him but I want to keep playing as long as I’m wanted. You’re a long time retired and it’s a great honour to represent your country.
“He reached 100 caps and if I was to do the same it would be amazing. I have just reached 50 so the century is a long way off and I will take it step by step.
“Getting to 50 has been great for me and I am one of the more experienced players in the dressing room now like Lampard used to be and, hopefully, I can help the younger guys in the same way he did.”
Since arriving in Manchester, Lampard has set out to prove the doubters of his ability wrong, and he has already netted four goals for the Premier League giants. And Milner revealed that the former Blues midfielder still works harder than nearly every other player, with the desire to improve every day.
He added: "What Lamps is doing at 36 shows to me you can still improve every day.
“He is still doing all the right things, he’s still preparing and doing his extras. When he came to City, people thought he’d come just to have a few easy months, fill in here and there.
“But he has come in and taken it by the scruff of the neck. He is a massive player for us again and shown what a character and great player he is.
“I play with many great players at City and Lamps is one of them. If you can’t improve watching and playing with him and the rest of them, you will struggle anywhere to be honest.”