Why Liverpool fans should view possible capture of James Milner positively

James Milner FIFA EA Sports

Reports are indicating that James Milner could complete his move to Anfield this week.

It now seems to be just a matter of time before James Milner completes his move from Manchester City to Liverpool on a free transfer and becomes the first arrival at Anfield this summer, with reports such as those in the Liverpool Echo indicating that the relevant parties are in advanced discussions.

Some may be sceptical about the move. He is, after all, a free transfer, but in the past four years he has been part of a side that has finished in the top two in the Premier League - lifting the top-flight crown on two occasions.

At a time when Liverpool have lost somebody of the calibre of Steven Gerrard to MLS, they need players who have experience, and experience of winning, in their ranks. Two Premier League titles, the League Cup and the FA Cup in the past five years points at someone who has been part of a side that has developed something of a habitual winning culture.

Of course, he is not the replacement for Steven Gerrard - Milner is a very different player. During a lot of this season he has been used as a makeshift striker, and has at times salvaged something for City when it has looked as though they were facing defeat - sound familiar?

Milner provides energy, tireless work, something which always suits a Liverpool side under Brendan Rodgers when they are at their best. Combine that with Jordan Henderson's work in the middle of the park, along with a dynamic holding midfielder - whether Liverpool have that player already is up for debate - and you could have the makings of an effective midfield unit.

If Liverpool are going to persist with a transfer policy that involves bringing in younger players and trying to develop them, then there needs to be more experienced heads coming in. It's easy to forget that Milner has been playing in the Premier League for over a decade now and is a regular at international level.

Then there's the versatility. It has been mooted that one of the reasons he turned down a more lucrative deal at his current club was because he wanted to play in his more natural position every week - but even then he could easily adapt to change of systems.

Though Brendan Rodgers has changed his system on multiple occasions in order to try and find a way for his side to play well again - having someone with the kind of flexibility of Milner is likely to help during any transitional phases.

Used effectively, it could be the smartest piece of business Liverpool do this summer.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch