Brendan Rodgers says new Liverpool signing has been 'absolutely exceptional'

James Milner has been heavily praised by his Liverpool boss.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has labelled new recruit James Milner as 'absolutely exceptional' following his impressive performances in the heart of midfield, The Sun report.

Speaking ahead of his side’s showdown with West Ham United, Rodgers has every right to be delighted as his side so far boast a 100% clean sheet record and seven points on the board.

Yet, arguably the most significant factor so far is how good the new signings have been, with freebie James Milner the pick of the bunch as he makes the spine of the Reds team much stronger.

“James Milner’s been absolutely exceptional. You know he’s a good player but you don’t realise how good until he comes into your club,” Rodgers said of the England international.

“He’s a proper man in terms of how tough he is but he’s also an outstanding footballer and he’s added massively to this squad in terms of mentality.

“He’s a winner and his work with the players has been outstanding.”

  Touches per GameAccurate Passes per GameTackles per GameDef Duels Won per GameBall Recoveries per GameShots per GameAssists per GameAppearances
James Milner 71.67 46 2 4.67 8.33 1.67 1.33 3

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Milner has so far proven to be the very definition of an all-round, box-to-box central midfielder as he excels in a number of key areas.

In possession, he is reliable and is always looking to play the ball forward, an important trait which helps instigate attacks and puts the opposition on the back foot.

During his previous days at Aston Villa, the 29-year-old was arguably more attacking, but in his role on Merseyside he strikes a better balance due to his ability to put in the defensive work.

Over the three games so far this season, he has averaged two tackles, 4.67 defensive duel winners and a whopping 8.33 ball recoveries per Premier League fixture – an outstanding contribution.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch