Former England caretaker manager Stuart Pearce has said that Liverpool midfielder James Milner is perhaps the best 'pound for pound' footballer the Premier League has ever seen, after the 32-year-old starred in Liverpool's 2-1 win over Tottenham.
Pearce claims that while he isn't the best player in the league, Milner's work rate and attitude mean he is as valuable as anyone that has played in the Premier League era, and that he doesn't get the credit he deserves.
Pearce told TalkSPORT, via the Express: “There’s a saying in boxing on who is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
“I think Milner is the best pound-for-pound footballer in the Premier League potentially there has been. I don’t think he’s been the best footballer by a million miles but you should throw everything into the mix like professionalism. He's so underrated.
“He’s 32-years-old now and he’s ridiculously low maintenance and I’ve never seen one detrimental story about Milner in the papers.
“He’s probably run more than any player that’s taken to the pitch over those last 16 years, he’s played over 130 games at all age groups for the England national team.
While it seems like an ambitious claim on the face of it, Milner has been an increasingly important player for Liverpool since signing from Manchester City on a free transfer in 2015, filling in as a left back throughout the majority of the 2016/17 campaign.
With the emergence of Andy Robertson as first choice left back, however, Milner stepped back into midfield last season, and has started every game of the Reds' current Premier League campaign, limiting captain Jordan Henderson to just one start.
No player on the pitch created more chances than James Milner (3) during Spurs vs. Liverpool.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 15, 2018
“A seasoned professional, the Englishman produced a very Milner-esque performance: a typically high work rate and a diligent tactical awareness.”
Rating = 8/10 👏 pic.twitter.com/m1zsX5glIS
“At one stage Manchester City thought he was surplus to requirements and he went to Liverpool," Pearce added.
“Then all of a sudden he plays a season at left-back for Liverpool and he’s fantastic there. You just can’t keep him down. He will not go under.”