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Milner signs off for Liverpool: This feels strange



Milner signs off for Liverpool: This feels strange

James Milner admits his final game with Liverpool “feels strange”.

Milner signs off from the Reds after Sunday’s 4-4 draw at Southampton.

He said, “Obviously it’s a weird feeling when you’ve been somewhere for so long and shared the times I’ve had with this dressing room and these fans, I had an amazing send off from them today. It’s been like that ever since I have been there.

“It’s obviously a strange feeling but all good things come to an end. I’ve had an amazing time here, achieved a lot, but it has to end at some point unfortunately.

“Every time you win a trophy is special. The journey to become the team that we’ve become, delivering that league title that the fans wanted for so long. All the trophies to start that era, and I’m sure it’s not the end of the era now, but to be part of the building for this team, it’s fantastic.”


Liverpool has ‘exceptional’ talent still to be unleashed despite Jürgen Klopp transfer admission

It was not the year that Fábio Carvalho would have been dreaming about when he arrived at Anfield as the outstanding player in the Championship with Fulham last season.

In hindsight, a year-long loan spell with his former club would have been ideal. While Carvalho has not seen that much game time at Liverpool, he would have had plenty under Marco Silva in a team that (at least until Aleksandar Mitrović’s lengthy ban) was flying in the Premier League and finished in the top half.

Jürgen Klopp confirmed during his final press conference of the season that it is possible Carvalho, who is drawing interest from elsewhere, could depart this summer in search of more minutes, and while it has only been a year since he arrived from the Craven Cottage outfit to so much fanfare, it cannot be a huge surprise that he is considering his options.

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Carvalho has simply not played as much as he would have wanted, but there are a couple of points that are important to mention…

Firstly, Liverpool should only sanction a loan spell. Despite a lack of action this season, Carvalho is clearly still very talented. There is a reason that the Reds were so keen to sign him — and there are loads of examples of players who have needed time to adapt.

Any idea of selling him permanently would be a mistake, not least because a year-long loan would drive up his value — from a purely financial sense, only a temporary exit would add up. Cashing in while his stock is low would be silly.

But there is an argument that Carvalho should stay for another year and see how it goes. He could even decide to make a loan exit in January if the first half of next season does not see his position in the squad change.

“Fábio, for the situation in which he is now, in training on an absolute super level and not being involved, how he deals with it, I have to say, that’s kind of a role model,” Klopp said last month.

“Not that he is happy with the situation, but he never gives up. It’s unbelievable. I don’t think it was probably his best skill before he arrived here, because he was this super-super talent — which he still is — but the character he shows here is exceptional.”

Those opportunities could yet come, though. With squad options like Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gone, he was surely bought with replacing them in mind.

The more attacking number eight positions are perfectly suited to his skillset and as Curtis Jones has proven over the last few weeks, things can change very quickly when the team is set up to play to your strengths.

Liverpool will also be playing in the Europa League next season. Carvalho got chances during the Champions League group phase this time around and he would surely get more of a look-in against second-tier opposition.

The Reds will also hope not to draw Manchester City or Brighton relatively early on during the domestic cups. Carvalho played 45 minutes against the former and didn’t make the squad for the game with the latter.

With more luck, he could become something like what Takumi Minamino was: a player who played a huge role en route to winning a domestic double. The difference between Carvalho and Minamino is that the former is young enough that a season like that would be the platform he needs to step up to something more, rather than the platform for an exit.

It is understandable that Carvalho might be considering his position at Liverpool, but no rash decisions should be made. The 20-year-old has time on his side — and more than enough talent to make it work.

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