Liverpool have confirmed that James Milner has signed a new deal at the club to keep him on the books for another 12 months.
The 36-year-old arrived at Anfield from Manchester City in the summer of 2015 and has amassed 26 goals and 44 assists in 289 appearances for the Reds since.
Milner only made nine Premier League starts last season but still managed a total of three assists in 39 appearances across all competitions, and he was due to leave as a free agent this summer.
However, with Jurgen Klopp valuing the midfielder’s contributions both on and off the field, Milner has elected to stay put on Merseyside until the summer of 2023.
“I’m very pleased to be staying for another season. I have never taken playing for this club for granted and I never will,” Milner told Liverpoolfc.com.
“An overriding feeling for me – and a vitally important one in the process – was the belief I can still contribute to the team. The gaffer was clear what he thought and that was a big factor in me extending my contract.
“Ultimately it was a decision I made, with the support of my family, on the basis of the quality of people at the club; teammates first and foremost, along with the manager and coaches.
“Plus the brilliant training ground staff, who are the heartbeat of AXA. From the medical room, sports science, the kit department, nutrition, the canteen and office staff. All people who make the team what it is.
“As long as I can still play my part, that’s not something easy to walk away from. Last season was extraordinary, even though it didn’t have the ending we hoped it would. But I think that will only make us all even hungrier for more success, to be honest. I felt that after the parade and that played a part in my decision-making also. It’s a unique club.
“Now this is signed, I’m already looking forward to getting back with everyone, refocusing and going again. It’s a brilliant dressing room to be part of.”
Klopp believes that Milner has “set the benchmark” with his professional attitude and reliable performances on the field, adding: “I am delighted by this news. It’s important for us – all of us.
“A lot is often made of James’ leadership skills and his influence in the dressing room, and of course that’s correct and justified, but nobody should overlook his quality on the pitch, where he continues to perform to a level that meant we simply couldn’t afford to lose him.
“His professionalism is the benchmark for any athlete and it’s why he sets the tone for this team with his ability and attitude. We had the longest campaign possible last season and Millie only got stronger and better and more influential as it went on.
“Typically, the discussions we had around extending his contract were centred on: what kind of contribution do we see him making as a player? My answer to him was the same I’ll share with supporters: we don’t limit it. We just want the same from him again, because that’s not possible to replace. He can still do it and we still need it.
“So I’m grateful he answered the call and agreed to give us the extra year of his extraordinary career. More to come.”
Milner has won the Champions League, Premier League, EFL Cup, FA Cup, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup during his time with Liverpool and sits fourth in the all-time Premier League appearances list behind Frank Lampard, Ryan Giggs and Gareth Barry.