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19th Dec, 2016 | 7:32pm

Klopp names Liverpool defender among top five footballers he has worked with

By Matt Farr

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has named James Milner as one of the top five footballers he’s ever worked with.

Milner has contributed five goals and two assists in 16 games in all competitions since Klopp took over at Anfield, and the former Dortmund boss is full of praise for the midfielder.

The questionable form of Alberto Moreno has forced Klopp to deploy the versatile Milner as Liverpool’s first-choice left-back, but the former England international has excelled in his new defensive role.

Klopp has been very impressed with his contributions this season and believes that Milner can play at the top level for another five or six years.

The Bundesliga title winner also paid Milner the huge compliment of naming him among the top five professionals he has managed in his lengthy career.

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“I have nothing bad to say about any of my players, but he is certainly in the top five,” Klopp said, as quoted by the Sun.

“I have been very lucky to surround myself with great professionals, but Milly is 100 per cent in the top five. He is the perfect professional.

“We didn’t want to make him a left-back, we only want someone who can have an influence on the game from this position.

“I’m not 1oo per cent sure what his future holds in this position, but he is comfortable and, with the ball is especially, he looks assured.”

Milner retains his place in Klopp’s starting XI for the Merseyside derby clash with Everton on Monday night.

Liverpool can move into second, ahead of Manchester City, with a win against Everton, and close the deficit on league leaders Chelsea to six points.

The Reds have won just two of their last five league games, including an impressive 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough last time out.

In other Liverpool news, Liverpool have joined the race to sign this teenage sensation in January.