Crooks applauds Liverpool star Milner after beating Palace on Saturday

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Garth Crooks told his BBC Sport Team of the Week column that James Milner has been a “giant” for Liverpool, having shone on Saturday.

Milner, 35, got his second start of the season against Palace on Saturday – replacing Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.

Despite his confrontation with Wilfried Zaha, Milner put in an almost perfect performance. He silenced Zaha, but also aided in the attack.

Liverpool beat Palace 3-0, thanks to goals from Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Naby Keita. A comfortable performance from Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Photo of Jan Kruger – UEFA / UEFA via Getty Images

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But it was Milner who won the praise as he continues to prove that age is just a number. Crooks raved about the England star 61 times.

“I remember Milner at Newcastle, thinking he was a clerk. At Villa, he had become a driving force. At Manchester City, he really surprised me.

“As a Liverpool player, James Milner was a giant. He is instrumental in Jurgen Klopp’s safe transition to Liverpool Football Club as captain.

“Klopp is now repaying his dedication and service to himself and the club by retaining his services when they didn’t really need to.”

Photo by John Powell / Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Crooks on Milner: Liverpool star still essential for Klopp

Crooks suggesting Liverpool didn’t need to keep Milner may be a bit tough. He is an incredible player, an incredible athlete and a winner.

His time at Manchester City saw him become the crème de la crème, and he further strengthened it with titles in the Liverpool red.

But it offers versatility and quality in many roles in the field. Right-back, left-back, starting midfielder, box-to-box – naturally a winger.

Off the field, Milner is another captain. Crucial for the dressing room, a good attitude and a perfect example for young Liverpool players to follow.

Crooks is correct in praising Milner but suggesting Liverpool may not have kept him? He’s just as crucial for Liverpool now as he was when he arrived in 2015.

Photo by Andrew Powell / Liverpool FC via Getty Images

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