James Milner is set to LEAVE Liverpool after eight years at the club in one of four high-profile summer departures… with Roberto Firmino, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita also heading for Anfield exits as Jurgen Klopp rebuilds
- Milner first moved to Liverpool on a Bosman in 2015 after leaving Man City
- He has gone on to win seven major trophies, proving a superb piece of business
- Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita are also waving goodbye this summer
James Milner will leave Liverpool at the end of the season after the club confirmed their vice-captain will be one of four departures.
Milner has proven to be one of the best pieces of transfer business in Liverpool’s history, arriving on a Bosman in the summer of 2015 but going on to win seven major trophies, the highlights being the 2019 Champions League and the 2020 Premier League.
It has long been anticipated that the 38-year-old would depart – it is expected he will join Brighton – but, still, it represents the fact this will be changing of the guard at Anfield, as Milner will be joined by Roberto Firmino, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita in leaving.
Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan of Milner and would have been happy for him to stay but there was never a decision to make in that respect: Liverpool never offered Milner new terms and the parting of the ways will be amicable.
Liverpool are committed to reshaping their midfield this summer, pursuing targets such as Mason Mount, Alexis Mac Allister and Matheus Nunes, and there is an understanding that opportunities to start will be limited.
James Milner will leave Liverpool at the end of the season after eight years at Anfield
The 38-year-old is one of four high-profile departures along with Roberto Firmino (pictured)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) and Naby Keita are the other two players leaving the Reds
Milner has been one of the greatest pieces of business in Liverpool’s history after joining on a free transfer in 2015 and going on to win seven major trophies
He is guaranteed a huge reception when Liverpool face Brentford on Saturday in their final home game but nothing will be as big as the ovation Firmino, who is wanted by Barcelona and Inter Milan, will receive.
Firmino has been out for much of the last month with a hamstring issue but he trained on Wednesday and is winning the race to be involved; it has been Klopp’s desire to give the Brazil forward one last hurrah at Anfield and Liverpool are optimistic this will be the case.
Such is the esteem in which Firmino is held by supporters, his name was sung for 11 minutes non-stop during Monday’s 3-0 win at Leicester and he looked humbled by it all when he walked over to the away fans at the KingPower Stadium.
Jurgen Klopp is set to undergo a changing of the guard on Merseyside this summer
While those two players were huge successes, the same was not true for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita, the Guinea international who once held the distinction of being Liverpool’s club record signing when he moved to the club for £51million in 2018.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was hugely unfortunate in that he suffered a catastrophic knee injury in the spring of 2018 – at a time when he was just finding a rhythm and making a difference – that left him fighting an uphill battle.
Keita, by contrast, never lived up to the early billing. There were occasions fleeting glimpses of the midfielder he could be – he was the first person to take the number 8 jersey after Steven Gerrard – but too often he ended up on the periphery.
No decisions have been made about where those men will move to next.
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