Liverpool's James Milner is looking towards the end of his career.
Liverpool midfielder James Milner racked up another 45 appearances last season, but he may have on eye on his future beyond playing.
The Reds used Milner as a left back during the 2016-17 season, but he then lost his place to Alberto Moreno and Andrew Robertson, meaning he had to fight for a place in a congested midfielder setup.
Milner, 32, was a regular in the Champions League with nine starts and two substitute appearances, whilst he also started 16 league games having been a trusted veteran under Jurgen Klopp.
Now though, the former Manchester City ace – who joined Liverpool in 2015 – has told the Daily Mail that he already has already started to think about retirement and a potential future in coaching, suggesting he may only have four more years left as a pro.
“You get to a stage when you start making decisions, keeping options open,” said Milner. “I could go to play for another four years or so, bringing up 20 years as a first-team pro. There are times when I think of management as an option and there are times when I don't.”
“There is plenty to weigh up. I enjoy helping younger guys out. I have been playing a long time and I was looked after by the older players. You can have a tough time when you are coming through and I learned from the older players,” he added.
Milner may well be entering the final stages of his career, but there is still one move he must look to make before retiring – and that's move back to Leeds United.
Milner has followed Leeds since he was seven and joined his hometown club at 10, made his debut for the Whites at just 16 and scored just shy of his 17th birthday, becoming a hot prospect at Elland Road before leaving for Newcastle United in 2004.
Milner now has more than 650 first-team appearances to his name and 61 caps for England, but nothing would bring down the curtain on his career like finishing up where it all started.
Whether Leeds are in the Championship or the Premier League, Milner should be looking to end his career with his boyhood club and sign off in style at Elland Road, with fans desperate for him to return – and before heading into coaching, Milner should don the famous white shirt of Leeds again, both for emotional reasons and because he would feasibly still have a role to play given his staggering fitness levels, meaning he wouldn't be coming back just for one final pay packet.
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