Georginio Wijnaldum has paid tribute to fellow Liverpool midfielder James Milner after the 32-year-old stalwart made his 500th Premier League appearance last weekend.
The former England international has enjoyed a hugely successful career in the English top flight after spells with hometown club Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Many are of the opinion that Milner is getting better with age, with the midfielder having already registered five goals and three assists so far this season.
There are just 12 other players that have reached the 500 mark in the Premier League and Wijnaldum believes Milner’s dedication to keeping himself at a good physical level is paying dividends.
“It is [incredible to reach 500 Premier League games], and also that he is still so fit. He’s a machine,” Wijnaldum told LFC Later.
“We always see him in the gym and sometimes I’ll say: ‘James, you might take a little bit of rest!’
“But he is always busy to keep his body as fit as possible so for me it’s not a surprise that he’s made so many appearances.
Milner is considered to be a player that is capable of performing in a number of different areas in the team.
Before the arrival of Andrew Robertson, the former City man played virtually a whole season at left-back for the Reds.
He made his 500th appearance whilst playing as a right-back against Bournemouth on Saturday and Jurgen Klopp has indicated that Joe Gomez’s recent injury setback could see Milner used in that position again in the coming weeks.
Netherlands star Wijnaldum praised Milner’s versatility and joked that the 32-year-old would like to play in goal before he ends his career.
“Against Bournemouth he played as a right defender so I told him he’d played in every position and he said: ‘Except in goal, so if we’ve used three substitutes and the goalkeeper gets a red card, it’s me!’”
Milner featured in Liverpool’s vital Champions League victory over Napoli on Tuesday, a win that saw them secure their spot in the knockout stages of the competition.
He was withdrawn with cramp in the second half and Klopp will be hoping that he is able to play a part in the Reds’ upcoming clash against Manchester United this Sunday.