Why free transfer Milner could be the perfect Gerrard replacement

Courtois, Matić & Milner - Chelsea v Man City

The Manchester City star is out of contract this summer, and would be a good option for a Liverpool midfielder reeling from the departure of their captain.

Though no player on the planet is going to be able to adequately replace departing Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, there is a top quality player not so far away from Anfield who could be as good an addition as anyone.

Manchester City's James Milner looks like departing the Etihad after five seasons when his contract expires in June, and there would likely be no midfielder in the Premier League with his quality switching top flight English clubs this summer.

It's no surprise that Liverpool, as well as Arsenal, have been linked with the former Aston Villa and Newcastle man by sources such as the Mirror. As Milner is available for nothing, any transfer chest ready for the summer can be spent on other areas, especially in the striker department.

He may not have the last minute heroics that Gerrard has demonstrated, but Milner has plenty of the characteristics of the outgoing Liverpool captain.

The fact the Yorkshireman has just had the best goalscoring campaign of his City career (8 goals in all competitions) shows that he is very much in his peak, and could still bring something to a top Premier League team if he is given the chance.

  PositionTeamPassing AccuracyGoalsGoal AssistOntarget Scoring AttTotal Att AssistDuel WonAccurate PassTouchesAppearancesMins Played
Steven Gerrard MF Liverpool 85.06% 8 1 19 50 89 1253 1872 28 2146
James Milner MF Man City 79.53% 5 6 11 49 132 781 1443 31 1663

As the stats above indicate, Milner has been an impressive creative force for Manchester City this season, assisting six times compared to Gerrard's once, and having practically as many attempted assists as the 34-year-old despite playing considerably fewer minutes.

They have similar goal records if you take away Gerrard's penalties, though the Liverpool favourite does average more on target attempts than his former England teammate.

Gerrard also averages more accurate passes than Milner, though their number of touches are very similar if you factor in the minutes played by each player.

One of Milner's strengths is his resilience and ability to win possession, and this is something that could be of big use to Brendan Rodgers if he would pursue the 29-year-old, while the England international's versatility could of course be of use as well for the Reds too. 

But what do you Liverpool fans think, and Manchester City fans - would you be disappointed to see your midfielder go?

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch