Liverpool star will reassess England future, could retire if not assured of regular role

Three Lions Wembley

James Milner says it would probably be better for him to end his international involvement if he becomes just a bit-part player for England.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner has told the club's official website that he could choose to step aside and retire from international football if he becomes nothing more than just a bit-part player for England.

The 30-year-old came through the ranks for the Three Lions, playing at every youth level except Under-18s and featuring a record 46 times for the Under-21s side, and has won 57 caps for the senior side since his debut in 2009.

However, the former Manchester City man was an unused substitute as Roy Hodgson instead went with a youthful midfield featuring Spurs pair Dele Alli and Eric Dier for England's dramatic 3-2 win over Germany on Saturday.

The breakthroughs of stars such as Alli, Dier, and Leicester City man Danny Drinkwater have increased the competition for a midfield spot in Hodgson's side, and Milner has suggested that he will reassess his international future after Euro 2016.

He admitted that he does not want to continue travelling with the Three Lions if he is not going to enjoy a regular spot in the starting XI, and confirmed that he could end his involvement for his country to allow younger players to step up if he is only going to be playing a lesser role.

Milner told Liverpool's official website: "It's a conversation I'll probably have with the manager at the start of next season. I don't want to be travelling around the world, not really contributing, and just being a good tourist.

"I want to contribute and, if he manager says I have a part to play, then great then. If not, it would be better for me to step aside and let the younger guys come through.

"I've been in four tournaments, built up a lot of caps and experience, and at the moment I can help the younger guys in the squad. But if I am going to be taking on a lesser role than the one I have now, it would probably better for someone else to step up."

Milner's senior international career began when he was at Aston Villa at the start of the 2009-10 season, and has featured at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups as well as Euro 2012.

The midfielder played in six of England's 10 Euro 2016 qualifying matches, but although he has been a regular for Liverpool this season, appearing 35 times, this summer's European Championship in France could be something of a swansong in his international career.

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