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As Liverpool‘s first day of pre-season training started, there was a lot of excitement about the new players that had joined us over the summer.

Naby Keita‘s deal was done a season back but seeing him in the flesh was fantastic and then the signing out of the blue, Fabinho was also present at Melwood as Jurgen Klopp decided to run the players through some drills.

Keita is expected to be our midfield dynamo next season but he failed in one major test – he could not outpace and defeat our stallion in midfield, James Milner.

The Daily Mail reports that Milner won the lactate challenge on the first day of training. This is coming from a 32-year-old over some players who are almost a decade younger than him.

Milner beat the likes of Adam Lallana, Keita, Fabinho and Danny Ings; the man is a machine and he will be extremely important for us next season.

A professional who will do anything for the cause

A couple of years ago, Alberto Moreno was having a crisis as the left-back and up stepped Milner to take over the spot. He had not played much in that role and is a right-footer but he adjusted to the position and did extremely well.

Milner did not have the pace to track the pacey wingers but he knew how to deal with it all. The same thing was in view when Milner was played in the midfield, and has even stepped up out on the wings during his time at Newcastle and Manchester City.

Many of us questioned the logic of signing the former City man on a free transfer but if there is one player who can be seen as a role model by the youngsters, it is Milner.

You barely hear anything from him on social media. There is no controversy and the 32-year-old just gets on with his job.

With no Steven Gerrard in the side, we needed someone to be the old head and Milner is the man. He has a number of medals to show to the Liverpool players too.

An important player for the season

While we can talk about Keita making our midfield one of the best in England or the possibility of us signing a world-class attacker, it is Milner who will have a huge role to play for us this season.

James Milner

Milner will possibly fill the hole left by Emre Can in the heart of the midfield. Last season, we did struggle when the German was out injured and with Jordan Henderson taking part in the World Cup, Milner will also be the senior professional in the pre-season, telling Keita what has to be done.

The 32-year-old will not be a first-team starter unless someone gets injured or is in horrible form, and that is a possibility he would know about.

This isn’t to say that Milner would be happy to just sit and take a place on the bench. Jurgen Klopp does make some tough decisions and the same can apply to anyone in the side.

The energy, doggedness and calm that Milner provides to the team is immense and he will be used in a lot of cup games. But we have to prepare for the future and the inevitability that the 32-year-old will not be playing a lot of football in the coming years.

However, he still has a lot of running in him, as seen in pre-season and if we can tap that well, Milner can be part of the Liverpool setup under Klopp for a number of years.

If not as a player, he must surley take up a role in management, just like Gerrard has done.

The best outcome for Milner would be to pick up a medal during his time at Liverpool. We have been lacking trophies in recent years and with a few more additions, we really can challenge for laurels and pick up a trophy or two.

Read more: Liverpool complete third signing of summer for the player they have been in contact since March

And if anyone can keep the team grounded and prepare them for more trophies and success, it has to be Milner.

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Liverpool star charged by FA over possible betting misconduct

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Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been charged with misconduct related to alleged breaches of the betting rules from the Football Association, as per the Guardian.

The alleged issue came up in January and the striker has claimed he has never gambled on the sport.

The report claims that the charges are related to the Englishman’s move from Liverpool to West Bromwich Albion in January. Footballers are prohibited from gambling on games or any other matters related to the sport.

The Guardian adds that this issue is to revolve around the disclosure of information as the charge relates to “information relating to football which the participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available at that time”.

Sturridge has claimed his innocence and a statement released by the football club read (h/t Guardian):

“Daniel has given his full and unequivocal cooperation throughout this process and has assured the club he will continue to do so. Daniel has also stated categorically that he has never gambled on football.

“As with any issue of this nature, we will allow the process to be concluded in its entirety before making any further comment.”

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

The English striker faces charges under rule E8(1)(a)(ii) and Rule E8(1)(b), as per the report, and has until 20 November to enter a plea.

The former Chelsea striker had a horrible time at the Hawthorns on loan and saw West Brom getting relegated.

The 29-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season but has scored some vital goals for Liverpool in the current campaign.

Read more: Liverpool equal two more records after their impressive 2-0 win over Fulham

Sturridge bagged a goal against Paris Saint-Germain in our Champions League opener and levelled the scores when Chelsea played the Reds in the Premier League with a superb strike.

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Liverpool equal two more records after their impressive 2-0 win over Fulham

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Mohamed Salah Liverpool

Liverpool don’t seem to be the same team from last season, despite boasting an unbeaten record in the Premier League.

The Reds beat Fulham 2-0 to make it 30 points from 12 games, and are just two behind Manchester City who lead the table.

Our attack hasn’t blitzed the opposition like last season, but the numbers suggest this has been an amazing start to the Premier League campaign.

Ian Doyle wrote for the Liverpool Echo about the latest game and claimed that we have matched our best points tally after 12 games.

Doyle further claimed that our goal difference of +18 was the best in terms of Premier League seasons.

Our attack might not be firing on all cylinders but our defence has been exceptional so far. Alisson kept yet another clean sheet on Sunday, and we also equalled the record for clean sheets from 1977-78 and 1978-79.

James Milner scores for Liverpool against Arsenal

In fact, our defence has been the reason why we have done so well this season. We barely seem to concede and Virgil van Dijk has been an exceptional purchase, alongside Alisson.

The pair combined well to start an attack against the Cottagers on Sunday. Van Dijk signalled Alisson to take a free-kick early, and that resulted in Mohamed Salah opening the scoring for the Reds.

The Reds haven’t been that great in the Champions League, and we need to ensure our qualification into the next round.

Read more: “Hopefully they can win the Premier League” – Former Liverpool star urges club to break Premier League duck

Liverpool play Watford after the international break and take on Paris Saint-Germain away a few days later.

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“I can’t believe it”, “Shocked” – Some Liverpool fans unsure about Mohamed Salah’s choice of T-shirt

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Mohamed Salah Liverpool

Mohamed Salah is one of the biggest stars in football. The Egyptian has grown in stature since his move to Liverpool from AS Roma last season, and helped Liverpool to a Champions League final too.

The former Roma star is also one of the most recognisable faces in the world, and there have been murals, statues and paintings celebrating the success of the Liverpool attacker.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the player wants a bit of privacy and Salah tweeted an image of him travelling “incognito”.

The player wearing a Balaclava would not have been much of a problem, but many fans didn’t like his choice of shirt.

The Egyptian wore a “Project-Playboy” shirt and while we cannot say what his intentions were by sporting the shirt, some of the fans questioned his taste, while others some supported him.

Read more: Liverpool handed incredible home record after 2-0 win over Fulham

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