James Milner; he’ll do a job for you.
Don’t let that generic faint praise fool you. Liverpool’s new arrival is much more than a useful utility man who will run his socks off.
Milner created more chances than Juan Mata this season, recorded more assists than Mesut Ozil and scored more goals than Cesc Fabregas. The boy can play.
Many have scoffed at the £150,000-per-week pay packet that the Daily Star claim the England midfielder will collect when he officially moves to Anfield upon the expiration of his Manchester City contract on July 1.
According to the London Evening Standard, it was those salary demands which deterred Arsenal from pursuing the 29-year-old more seriously.
But he is worth every penny, especially considering that the Reds have been spared a transfer fee for the Bosman signing.
Milner’s reputation as a workhorse means that his ability on the ball is unfairly overlooked.
He is capable of both scoring and creating goals, and Liverpool will need somebody to do that from midfield next season when they do not have outgoing talisman Steven Gerrard.
This raking long-range assist for Jesus Navas against Tottenham Hotspur in 2013-14 is very Gerrard-esque.
Milner’s eight goals and seven assists last season compares well to Jordan Henderson’s return of seven goals and nine assists, when taking into account that he started exactly half as many Premier League games – 18 – as the Liverpool vice-captain.
He scored as many league goals as Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho last term, while his goal and assist tally eclipses that of both Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil.
Milner can score all types of goals. His underrated technical prowess means that he can find the net from outside of the box. And his relentless energy, coupled with his ability to time his off-the-ball runs, allow him to arrive late in the area for headers like this one against Stoke City.
The last thing that Arsenal needed was another typical goalscoring midfielder, but Milner delivers going forward without abandoning defensive duties, as some Gunners can be guilty of doing.
He is the perfect balance between defence and attack; the complete midfielder and exactly the sort of player that could have helped the Gunners mount a serious title challenge next season.