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John Aldridge identifies vital cog in Liverpool team

By Dominic Toner

John Aldridge believes that James Milner is a “vital cog” in the Liverpool side.

The former England star, who retired retired from international duty in the summer, has been an important member of a Liverpool side that have started the season in good form.

Milner, 30, has been converted to a left-back this season and has filled in for the untrusted Alberto Moreno.

Jurgen Klopp has used Milner as a defender in five of the six Premier League games this campaign and he has looked assured in his new position.

The experienced player netted two goals from the penalty spot on Saturday in the club’s 5-1 win against Hull.

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Ex-Liverpool striker Aldridge believes that Milner is a crucial member of the current team, as quoted by the Echo.

“I was so impressed by James Milner on Saturday. He’s the ultimate professional,” he said. “The manager asked him to do a job for the team at left-back this season and he looks like he’s been playing there all his life.

“He’s not a natural left-footer but he has adjusted to it brilliantly and made it work. For me, Milner was man of the match against Hull. He’s vice-captain and a leader in the dressing room. Milner is a vital cog in this Liverpool team.”

Milner has often been used as a central midfielder throughout his career but Klopp has found further use for the versatile player.

He is set to remain as the club’s first-choice full-back until January at least, with Spaniard Moreno lacking the defensive abilities.

Liverpool have been incredible in front of goal this season, scoring 24 goals in eight games, but have had difficulties in defence.

The Reds are yet to keep a Premier League clean sheet in their opening six league matches and will need to rectify that if they are to be considered serious title challengers.

Simon Mignolet was dropped for Loris Karius in the win against Hull and the latter is now expected to be given the chance to become the club’s number one goalkeeper.

In other Liverpool news, a BBC pundit has hailed the club’s player as his favourite star in the Premier League.