James Milner’s man-of-the-match performance against Chelsea showcased just what Manchester City have been missing by leaving the England midfielder warming the woodwork.
Rather than his dazzling display embedding Milner into the Citizens fold however, the player himself has instead issued a war cry over his Etihad future.
“I understand I won’t play in every game, I just want a fair crack of the whip, a few more games than I got last year,” said Milner.
“You have to perform as well, and that is never easy when you are in and out of the team. I want to play as well as I can, and the more you play the more you can show what you can do.”
Although Milner reiterated his greatest desire is to stay and win more trophies with City – who are 3/1 to lift the Capital One Cup after drawing Newcastle at home in round four – these comments will alert plenty of other clubs.
Arsenal and Liverpool have previously both shown interest in offering Milner a new home, but after their respective summer recruitment drives, accommodating the former Leeds starlet may prove too tricky.
Everton certainly make another viable option, but even at Goodison Park there is some premium on available slots, albeit Ross Barkley’s potential departure would leave a gaping hole.
Meanwhile, both Aston Villa and Newcastle, whom he has starred for in the past, could make ideal options.
Villa have enjoyed a steep upturn in fortunes since Roy Keane joined as assistant manager and the midlands club would surely welcome back Milner in a heartbeat.
The Magpies cannot boast the same improvements, but at St James’ Park Milner would have the chance to perform week-in-week-out for a big club on a stage he is used to.
Much will depend on Manuel Pellegrini’s moves over the course of the season and whether he can grant Milner his wishes.
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