Lallana: Milner can have a massive impact

Midfielder says former Liverpool teammate’s experience will be important for Albion.

By Bruce Talbot • 14 June 2023

By Liverpool FC
James Milner won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2019.

Adam Lallana believes James Milner can have a massive impact on the Albion squad after welcoming his former teammate to the club.

The 37-year-old has signed a one-year contract after eight years with Liverpool for whom he made 332 appearances, many of them alongside Lallana in their midfield.

Lallana says Milner will add to the core of experienced players in the squad who can make a vital contribution when Albion play their first Europa League campaign next season. Only two players – Gareth Barry (652) and Ryan Giggs (632) have made more Premier League appearances than Milner’s 619.  

By Paul Hazlewood
James Milner spent eight years with Liverpool, playing alongside Adam Lallana for five of those.

“I look at our dressing room now and characters are building everywhere,” he said. “James has been in the Premier League for a long time, he defines the word professionalism and if we can use the strengths of players like him and others of that ilk and help the group overall it’s only going to help. And he’s older than me so he can have the headlines about being the oldest player in the group!

“I think it has gone under the radar how many senior players we’ve got. [Lewis] Dunk, [Pascal] Gross, [Danny] Welbeck, [Jason] Steele are all in their thirties and it helps the dressing room. We help provide the environment for the hidden gems to express themselves, that’s the model and James will help us with that. 

“If you’ve got a team with 8-9 good senior lads like we have that’s pivotal to success. I look at the Southampton team when they won back to back promotions and to the Liverpool team I played in, there was always a core of leaders.”

By Paul Hazlewood
James Milner and Adam Lallana challenge for the ball, during Albion's 1-0 win at Anfield in 2021.

Sixty-eight of Milner’s Liverpool games came in Europe and Lallana believes his knowledge of playing three times a week can also be invaluable.

“We need to keep building, we will be playing 2-3 times a week and that is difficult, not just the physical side of playing on Thursday and Sunday but also the mental side. The Premier League can become less glamorous, and we can’t have that happening to us. For us to progress as a football club we need to be relentless.”